Monday, October 3, 2011

Be a Chimney

Be a Chimney
Posted by Lisa
Written September 17, 2011

My friend and I were talking a few days ago about listening.  A couple of my friends and I seem to have this knack for people (and I mean anyone) coming up and telling us their burdens and life story.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining; but sometimes my heart breaks when I hear their stories and troubles.  Sometimes I also feel like telling these people to look around them and just see how their lives are really not that bad.  Let me tell you though – it not easy to tell someone that.  And sometimes it just isn’t the right time or place or thing to do at a given particular moment.

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My friend texted me the other day asking me if it was normal to feel so burdened down by other people’s
troubles that it is almost suffocating.  I don’t know if that sounds familiar to you…but when she asked me, my response was, “Oh my….YES!!!!”  That got me thinking more though.  My husband (at the time he was saying this he was either my friend or fianc√©…I can’t remember) once told me to be a “chimney.”  If you are like me, you probably are now saying “A what?!”  But, yes, I am trying to learn the lessons of being a chimney.

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My husband described it to me as I am the walls of the chimney.  The fire inside the fire place is kindled and heated up by the troubles of the people who I listen to.  As I listen to them, the troubles turn into smoke, and I feel the heat yet channel them through the chimney.  Once they reach the top of the chimney though, I let go.  I can’t hold it within myself.  I can most definitely pray for them, and try to help them with their burdens.  But I cannot take their burdens too deeply otherwise it is suffocating.

Romans 12:15-16 definitely states that it is important for us to share one another’s trials and joys together: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  Be of the same mind toward one another.  Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble.  Do not be wise in your own opinion.”  Galatians 6:2 only reinforces bearing the burdens and joys with each other: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  As chimneys we are bearing with each other and helping one another with our burdens.

But as chimneys, we also must let go, and I have found that this is also supported.  1 Peter 5:6-7 reads:  “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”  While we listen and bear with another’s burdens or joys, we also need to let go and give it to God.  We need to pray for them, and cast our cares upon Him.  He is the one who controls all things, and it is ultimately best to leave it in His hands.

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So while you are out there listening to others this week, just remember to be that chimney.  Always listen and be ready to lend a helping hand – but also be ready to give it to God. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! This made my day. I have trouble with this a lot, I listen but never give it to God. This reminded me that I have to give it all to Him all the time.... Thank you so much!