“Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2…
Back in my day of Missionettes (Christian girls program), I memorized a lot of Scriptures to achieve the honor of being ‘crowned’ and graduating the program. This Scripture is one that has stuck with me through the decades.
I don’t think I knew much about bearing others’ burdens in my teen years. I was pretty overwhelmed with my own ‘burdens’ of trying to get along with my parents and hiding secular music from them.
Fast forward, 20+ years and I’m starting to understand this verse a bit.
I’ve carried my own share of burdens, especially in the last decade. And I’ve been exposed more and more to believers bearing burdens over the years. The more I understand relationship and community, the more I find myself living out this verse.
I have friends all around me carrying burdens – some much greater than I have ever known. It’s tough stuff, y’all. I think the past me would have whispered and judged, maybe prayed a prayer but then sunk back into my safety bubble away from the mess. But the now me realizes that messy is life and a life that God isn’t scared of, so I shouldn’t be either.
I am finding that God is bigger – oh, so much bigger – than any burden or mess anyone finds themself in the middle of. I have come to believe that God’s plan is for victory, redemption and restoration for everyone. And victory and overcoming… actually. can. happen. Because Jesus can really win. Really. Even in the ugliest and messiest situations. Did I say He’s not afraid of messy? Because He’s not.
He’s not afraid of the sin, the affair, the bad report from the doctor, the abusive husband, the marriage heading towards divorce, the infertility, the miscarriages, the substance abuse, the cutting, the lying, the premature death of a family member, even the suicidal thoughts… He’s not afraid of jumping right into those messes and neither should I be. These are burdens that people bear, and, as a believer, it’s my job to come alongside and help them shoulder the burden, as The Voice translation says…
“Shoulder each other’s burdens, and then you will live as the Law of the Anointed teaches us.”
The Enemy wants you to believe several lies about burdens.
Lie #1: You shouldn’t have them. You’re a believer and – *gasp* – you aren’t perfect?!?!?! You must not be a good Christian like _______. Lies from the pit. of. hell. Some burdens hit us without any warning, like death and accidents. Other burdens we may have set ourselves up for. It doesn’t matter – trials and sin are a part of this world and they will affect us all. Don’t believe the lie that anyone is exempt.
Lie #2: Yes, you have a burden but you don’t want to BE a burden, so don’t share with anyone. You can shoulder this on your own. Again, lies from hell. When we cut ourself off from other believers, we lose the most powerful weapons there are – prayer power, faith power and encouragement power. When you surround yourself with praying and hope-filled friends, things really can change, because heaven is drawn into your situation.
Lie #3: There is no hope for this burden to ever to be lifted. God’s plan is for us to move through sin, pain, crisis, and the mess. There is breakthrough and victory to be had if we will hold onto Him and those He’s set around us and let Him guide us through, with the support of our community around us.
If you have a few burdens you’re shouldering today, be brave and let someone with faith in Jesus know, so they can stand with you, cry with you and most importantly, pray with you.
If your life is pretty burden-free right now, open your eyes. There are those around you who could really use a shoulder right now. Don’t be afraid of the mess. Be hopeful and faith-filled and help lighten the load for a friend.
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
~Galatians 6:1-3 (The Message)