Oh what a precious verse! What a privileged command! What a daunting duty!
Here on the heels of a wonderful sermon on God's Fatherly discipline we have these words regarding our need to care for the weak, feeble and lame. Are we caring?
I have to admit that I have been in that weak and feeble and lame state and sadly have found that many within the body of Christ could have cared less. (Sorry, just being honest.) There have been times when I have been incredibly open regarding my weaknesses and struggles and have even gone so far as to give some very simple tangible things that my brothers and sisters could do to help strengthen me. Repeatedly I have seen many friends bail. Thankfully I have seen others pick up the slack and stand in the gap in remarkable ways and help carry me until I have been able to walk again on my own.
The picture in this text is of one who is weighed down from the burdens of affliction, discipline, suffering, etc. This is not one who is fighting against God's discipline, but one who is honestly weak and full of sorrow from it. This is one who needs our help.
"A burden of affliction is apt to make the Christian's hands hang down, and his knees grow feeble, to dispirit him and discourage him; but this he must strive against; that he may the better run his spiritual race. Faith, and patience, and holy courage and resolution, will make him walk more steadily." (Matthew Henry). This he must strive against and friend, this we must help him strive against. We are not lone wolves - we are the body of Christ and we need each other - desperately!!
What are we doing with those around us who are weak, feeble and lame? The admonition for us all is to "strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed."