Bearing Burdens

1.10.CC.HOME_.BurdensBroken

Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ

My next door neighbor lost his wife suddenly.
A co-worker lost a loved one to suicide.
A friend I would consider to be one of the strongest people I know told me how alone and isolated he often feels.
A local outreach to children is asking for 2000 coats for children who do not have one.
This Christmas season almost 3,000,000 people are incarcerated in our jails and prisons many with families, children.

Burdens are indiscriminate.

From the youngest to the oldest among us, regardless of our social standing, gender, there are seasons, sometimes long seasons where we bear burdens.
Sometimes alone.
Jesus did not intend it to be that way.
As the image bearer of God in the flesh He came to take away the burden of our sin. But He didn’t stop there.
He let us know that second only to loving God with all we are or ever will be, was the command to love our neighbor as we would want to be loved.
In Galatians 6:2 Paul inspired by the Spirit of God tells us one of the ways we fulfill that commandment is by bearing each other’s burdens.
But the task of bearing others burdens as we carry our own is no easy task.
Sometimes with the sheer volume of need, burdens we become weary.
At times our thoughts are turned inward. We feel we are doing the heavy lifting with little help.
Other times we compare our load to others and wonder why no one is helping us. We feel our burden is obviously heavier than theirs.
So how do we navigate this and truly love our neighbor as we love our self, bear their burdens when ours are sometimes overwhelming?
In Galatians 6 we find direction and encouragement.

You will reap what you sow.
When you encounter those situations where you have a choice to turn towards or turn away, when you are weary of the constant demands, remember you reap what you sow.
The impetus for bearing others burdens is love. Whether it is a prisoner you visit in jail, providing a child with a coat, or encouraging a friend, being present in someone’s grief the thing people need to know most is they are loved. In fact Jesus said this is how people will know we belong to Him. By our love. When we are willing to sow into others lives by bearing their burdens even when we don’t feel like it or feel we are quite up to the task, we reap far more than we give. Scripture has much to say about our willingness to do this. All of it good.

Don’t become weary in doing good.
When we become the hands, the feet, the shoulder to lean on we do the one thing Jesus cannot physically do. And this is (read Matthew 25:34-40) of utmost importance to Him. So much so it ultimately affects eternity for everyone.

In the proper season your harvest will come. What will that harvest be? It will be different for everyone. But based on our Lord’s statement in Matthew 6:25-34 I expect it will be exactly what we need when we need it.

When you have opportunity do good to all people. Especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
The opportunity to do good in a world filled with things that are not good has never been greater or more needed.
Doing good can be a word, an action, sometimes standing with those or for those who cannot stand for themselves. But however that opportunity may come we will never be more like Christ than when we are willing to bear the burdens of others.

 

 

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