Friday, February 4, 2011

He's Not Heavy, He's my Brother: How to Carry the Weight of the World on Your Shoulders

This is another repost from the now defunct blog for which I used to write. Next week I will be back with fresh posts for you. I am working on a series of posts on lessons I have learned about prayer.

Have you heard the story about the boy who was carrying his younger brother on his back when a friend said, “It must be hard carrying your brother. Surely he’s heavy.”

The boy responded, “He’s not heavy, he’s my brother!”

I imagine Jesus must say the same thing while he carries me through the tough parts of life. “She’s not heavy, she’s my sister.” Just as Jesus carries our burdens, Gal 6:2 encourages us to carry each other’s burdens. It’s an act of Christian love for us to help each other make our way through life.

I’ve had my own heavy weight to carry lately. All week it has been a struggle for me. I feel the weight of my burdens and from those I love. I have felt that the burden is being piled on me and I have cried out to God that I don’t want to continue bearing this weight.

It has felt oppressive and today I reached a point of frustration. In my car, on the highway I yelled and berated another drive because of some “fault” in his driving. Afterwards I felt defeated and small. With a huge sigh I declared to God, “I can’t do anymore.”

Still, the words from Galations haunted me. The Bible says to carry one another’s burdens and I was telling God that I couldn’t. I know that others have carried my burdens over the years and I want to be able to respond in kind.

I began to question God about why I was being asked to bear this much. Why doesn’t my load lighten and how can I continue when I am feeling worn out, tired, and frustrated?” Slowly, the light began to dawn. It always does when I slow down enough to listen to the still, small voice of God.

Once again I was trying to do it all myself. Like a three year old I was asserting “I can do it myself!” I am a strong person and can take on a lot. Sometimes I pride myself in that. At times like that I forget that my strength comes from God. He waits patiently until I finally get a clue. He gently reminds me that I can’t do it all and I don’t have to do it all. He is there to help.

He still wants me to be there for my loved ones as they deal with things that make their lives hard. He just doesn’t expect me to be there alone.

Come to me, all you 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden in light. Matthew 11:28-30

I began to write this post and as I searched in the Bible for the passages that I have quoted I felt the burdens drop away. I felt my shoulders relax and my breathing slow and calm. I knew that I had finally been able to put down the weight I carry and it felt good. I had rest for my soul.

When I got up the next day I felt refreshed despite having little sleep. I was once again ready to face the world. I knew that my cares were being carried by God and I knew that would allow me to bear other’s burdens with love and kindness.

So, as you read this I encourage you to cast your burdens on Him. Let him help you carry the weight today and all days. He is there for you and He shares the weight of your burdens. He will give you rest for your soul as you allow Him to shoulder your burdens with you.

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