Our eldest son is much taller than I am, and when we go out shopping he now offers to carry the heavy bags for me. His Dad has modelled to him to bear the weight and burden for me, and to respond quickly to any need he sees.
The bible teaches us do likewise and to “bear one another’s burdens”. (Galatians 6:2) Meaning to be there for one another; to help when others are weighed down, and to be alert to needs so that we are quickly able to offer help. Bearing burdens alludes to the custom of travellers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.
It’s being available to respond so that people are not crushed or destroyed under the weight of their burdens, and it’s a practical outworking of Jesus’ command to love one another.
The key however to assisting one another is not to absorb pain. We are to assist, but we are not to make it our entire responsibility to fix things. When we start to do this we will soon find ourselves struggling under the weight of everyone else’s burdens, which can rapidly erode our own strength. Instead our role of helping carry people’s burdens is that we direct attention onto Jesus, and ultimately encourage all involved to give Him their burdens to carry. We offer our help so that people can rest, gather strength and get a fresh perspective that Jesus is able to help them, rather than continuing to struggle or others having to come to their rescue all the time.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. (Matthew 11:28-29)
Jesus is the ultimate burden bearer, and He asks that we come to Him so that we will all know rest from our labours. When He carries the load we can then learn from Him how to travel light and burden free.
Today, if you are carrying burdens, cast them upon Jesus for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Your shoulders were never meant to carry the responsibility of making everything work. All we are asked to do is seek Jesus and His way of doing things, and He will work out the rest. (Matthew 6:33)
If you know you have been carrying others burdens in an effort to assist them, make sure you are not taking responsibility and absorbing pain that God never intended you to. Regularly take time to cast all burdens upon Jesus, and then do only exactly what He asks you to do, rather than falling into the trap of feeling like you have to fix everything yourself.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall”. (Psalm 55:22)
“What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin. But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows”. (Matthew 10:29-31)
Prayer: Lord I give you all my burdens today, and ask that you carry the load. Help me to trust in you, and to remember that you have promised you will take care of me. In Jesus name Amen.