Tag Archives: bear one anothers burdens

Sharing Your Burden

How heavy is the burden you’re carrying right now? We all carry burdens with us. Freedictionary.com lists these as synonyms of burden: trouble, care, worry, trial, weight, responsibility, stress, strain, anxiety, sorrow, grievance, affliction, onus, albatross, millstone, encumbrance. All these things wear us down, make us tired and cause us not to move forward. We carry them inside and try not to let anyone know that they’re weighing us down. Somehow we’ve come to believe it’s a badge of honor to bear these burdens. It’s a way to show others were stronger than they believe. The truth is that you weren’t meant to carry these heavy burdens that distract us from our purpose by ourselves.

I love Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:28. He said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis” (TPT). One version refers to this burden as a yoke which would wrap around an animals neck to help them plow. Jesus’ metaphor here is symbolic of a yoke that would hold two animals. He wants to help you carry that burden. We’re even directed as believers in Galatians 6:2 to help each other carry their burdens. In each case, it requires the burden bearer to seek that help. When a burden is shared, the weight is cut in half. Quit believing the lies that it’s yours to carry alone and that no one else cares. God is available to help you and has placed people around you to help you.

Jesus continued in Matthew 11:29, “Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” It takes us joining our life with His and submitting to His yoke rather than our own. To me, that’s the hard part here, and in my mind it doesn’t always make sense. Yielding to Christ’s burden, rather than our own, and trusting Him with ours, is an act of faith. It’s trusting God to take care of something we’ve taken ownership of whether we were meant to or not. Psalm 68:19 says, “Praise the Lord, who carries our burdens day after day; he is the God who saves us” (GNT). God is ready and waiting for you to trust Him enough to go to Him and let Him help you day by day. Start by praying and saying out loud that you submit to His burden and need His help. Then share it with a trusted friend.

Photo by Kun Fotografi from Pexels

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Heavy Lifting

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Have you ever tried to carry something that was too heavy for you? I’m not talking about something you couldn’t lift. I’m talking about something that you could hold, but not for very long. You struggle to lift it, with each step you exhale trying to manage the weight and size of the object. You can only go a few feet before you have to set it down, take a breather, look at how much further you have to go and then try again. You repeat the process over and over until you finally reach your destination. It’s exhausting and can give you medical problems if it’s too heavy or too far.

Imagine carrying that same object and a friend comes over. They see you struggle and instead of offering help, they offer suggestions on how to carry it better. “Lift with your legs, not your back,” they say. How does that make you feel? Clearly they see you struggling, but they are doing nothing to help you. It gets frustrating. How about if instead of helping you they cheered you on? How would that make you feel? “Come on! I know you can do it! You’ve got this.” While it might help morally, it still doesn’t help with the problem.

What you really want when you’re struggling like that is for them to say, “Hey, let me give you a hand.” When they grab the other side, the weight is halved. Suddenly it’s more bearable than it was. You may be able to go a little bit further before you have to set it down. Their physically helping you with the object is a lot more useful than telling you how to do it or encouraging you to do it. Would you agree? Then why do we do the first two when we see someone struggling with heavy burdens?

I once heard a person say, “With a friend, joy is doubled and pain is halved.” I could also add burdens are halved. Galatians 6:2 says, “Help to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” It didn’t tell us just to encourage someone who is carrying a burden or to tell them how to carry it. We are told to help them carry it. When someone is carrying a burden, it’s a lot like that large object. They may only be able to take a few steps before they’re exhausted. They may not feel like they’re making progress. While words of encouragement are nice, helping them with the heavy lifting is what’s needed.

Think of a time when you’ve had a heavy burden. What is it that you wished people had done for you? Go and do that for someone else. When I see others who are going through something I’ve been through, my first thoughts are, “What did people do that made me mad? What did I wish people had done.” I then go and try to do the second instead of the first. It’s important that we look around us today to see which friends are struggling. While a word of encouragement is nice and a few tips on how to bear the burden is great, I’m sure they’d love some help with the heavy lifting.

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The Gift Of Help

One of my first jobs was being a sacker at a grocery store. Back then, the sacker didn’t just put your groceries in bags, they also took your bags to your car and put them in it. Society has gotten away from that in recent years. We have determined we can do it on our own and don’t need the help of someone else. We have self check out lines so we can avoid being helped by the checker and sacker. We do it all ourselves. We take the groceries to the car, load them up, take them home and then try to carry them all in the house in one trip. We load as much as we can on our arms. When so done offers help, we say, “No thanks. I got it.”

Have you ever done that? I think most of us have. Why do we refuse help when we need it? Why do we continually try to do things on our own? We need help from others. In fact, not long after God made Adam, He looked at him and said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper.” God recognized right after He made Adam that we need help. He knew it wasn’t good for us to do things alone. So He created Eve. He gave us the gift of a helper.

I’m the type of person who loves to offer help, but has a hard time accepting it from others. I’m also the guy who uses the self checkout lane and tries to carry every bag in one trip. What I find is that doing things on your own wears you out. It’s tiring. That’s because it goes against the way God made us. He intended for us to have others help us. He intended for us to have others be strong when we are weak. But if we don’t let others know we are struggling while trying to carry all the bags on our arms, how can they know to help?

The bags most of us carry are invisible. We struggle to carry them trying not to let one break. It takes up so much of our energy. It’s ok to get help. It’s ok to see someone struggling and to offer help. In fact, Galatians 6:2 tells us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” That’s pretty powerful. Carrying someone else’s burden is how we fulfill God’s laws. Eve was made to carry Adam’s burdens. You were made to carry someone else’s. If you were made to carry someone else’s, then you were also made to let someone carry yours. You just have to let go and accept their help.

What all are you holding onto today? What burdens are you carrying that are wearing you out? You weren’t meant to carry them alone, so stop trying. Find someone you can trust and ask them to help you. Ask them to pray with you and for you. Share your burdens. When you do, your load will be lightened and your strength will return. Trust God’s plan that you need help. Don’t be too prideful in thinking you can do it on your own, God has someone waiting to help you carry the load. You just need to accept it and do your part in fulfilling the law of Christ.

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