A long-time friend just recently found out she has breast cancer. She has been heavy on my heart and constantly in my prayers since I heard the news last Friday.
I have actually cried more while crying out to God on her behalf more than I did the entire time I was experiencing cancer.
This perplexed me and I have sought to understand what was going on with me.
As I was thinking about her yesterday and praying, God gave me the most wonderful analogy, and I just had to share.
Any major life crisis, cancer, in this case, is like an elephant in your life. And in order to function, this elephant has to be carried. For one person, this is beyond impossible and would completely incapacitate them.
But your friends, family, their friends and family (and their friends and family, and so on) get word of your crisis and pray. They drive carpool, make meals, clean your house, do laundry, run errands, and sit with you.
In essence, they are coming together and "lifting" the elephant for you. Their combined effort makes the task possible, and lightens the burden of the bearer - the person experiencing the crisis.
When I first started my cancer treatment, I remember praying one day with my precious friends Kim and Fran. When it was my turn to pray, all I could say was, "Thank you Lord for those who are carrying the burden of my cancer, because all that is left for me to feel is peace." And it was so true. I could "sit under the elephant" without fear of being crushed because the burden was faithfully lifted by so many over the months of my treatment.
Now I have the privilege of carrying the elephant for my friend, Julie. And it is my hope and prayer that the burden that remains for her is so light that all that is left for her is peace.
And I have a new appreciation for all that those prayer warriors did for me. Thank you just isn't enough.