We may not know who's struggling. We may not be able to tell, just from seeing someone's posts on a faceless discussion board. But we're all flesh and blood. The one who may be the most cross, the hardest to get along with. The one who aggravates or hurts us the most. Or, the one who encourages the most, seems to have the most joy and peace, and you'd just bet that they smile the most. The one who may appear to have the most knowledge, or wisdom, or love - any of the above could be at any given moment struggling with doubts, fears, confusion - stinging from the fiery darts of satan - battling something either in mind, body, or both, that others just don't realize is there. One who may confess the highest degree of faith, may be in the quiet still of the night, fearful, doubting, afraid they'll not be able to measure up, hold it together. Maybe even afraid of losing their faith, battling with their own unbelief. We may see the side that's trying to overcome, trying to be brave in the face of danger, and forget that we're all just people. With similar hurts, fears, damage from the past, feelings of insecurity - feelings of wanting to be loved and accepted - wanting to belong - and wanting to be OK.
I believe God would have us be gentle with each other and live in peace as much as is possible. I'm often guilty of missing this, not remembering to take it into account when dealing with others. But as I became a little more aware tonight of our vulnerabilities that are "common to man", I felt like passing along some of these thoughts.
Let's hold each other up in prayer. We stand only by His grace and strength.
In His love, James.