In the last few months the Lord has done some amazing things. He has placed me in a ministry role I absolutely love. He has blessed me with new friendships that run deep, and deeper friendships with those who were already in my life. The biggest blessing has been having such solid, sweet friends.
BUT – and yes, there has to be a but. . .
With friendship comes seasons of bad times and good times. With friendship comes the opportunity to bear one another’s burdens. And the last three weeks there have been a whole lot of burdens. I’ve had friends experience loss, depression, cancer, diabetes, doubts of faith, doubt of future plans and so much more. Having a few very close friends is very special, and it means that when one of you is going through something than the people around you help bear that burden with you.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galations 6:1-9
The Lord calls us to care for those we call our brothers or our sisters.
I keep this verse close to my heart when I listen to other’s share their broken pieces with me. I hold to it when a friend is going through a difficult time. “Bear one another’s burdens. Bear one another’s burdens. Bear one another’s burdens.” I repeat it as I take on more and more of the things my friends share with me.
HERE’S WHAT I FORGET:
The Lord also mentions burdens in the bible at another point
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. – Matthew 11:28
“Cast your burden on the Lord,
and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” – Psalm 55:22
“May the Lord be praised!
Day after day He bears our burdens;
God is our salvation. Selah” – Psalm 68:19
Come to Him. Give Him your burden. Daily.
A quick Google search of the word “Cast” helps finish out that mental picture quite nicely.
- Throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction. [AKA our father in Heaven]
Further down the I found another definition that reads:
cause (light or shadow) to appear on a surface.
This helped me put the picture together. The Lord calls us to cast- to throw forcefully into His arms and cast light upon its surface- the burdens we are bearing with one another. See, the Lord didn’t call us just to bear one another’s burdens with no one else to help us get through it. He called us to bear them with one another, to feel pain and sadness with others, to experience loss, to know life and death, joy and pain. He called us to share those burdens and not simply take other’s burdens on, but to DAILY take our burdens and those of friends and family and fling them- throw them forcefully- onto God who can cast light into an otherwise dark situation.
The Lord always calls us to minister to others, but He never does so without equipping us to minister to ourselves along the way.
Truth is, I was bearing everyone’s burdens on my own shoulders. I was taking their pain and trying to make it better. I was bearing them all on my own. I’ve been overwhelmed and felt defeated because I struggle to throw my own burdens on God’s shoulders without having other burdens to cast upon Him as well.
Truth is, I’m learning a ton about who God is and some days I fail to go to Him. Some days I do it all by myself. But I’m learning the Lord wants to bear my burdens. He wants to care for me. He also cares deeply for the people I love. So I stop bearing their burdens alone and I throw them to a God who can help bring light into a situation.