Bear One Another’s Burdens All the Way to Christ

I asked my two oldest children to move some pallets from one side of our yard to the other yesterday. The boys are small, so I knew neither would be able to do it alone. However, with a lot of struggling and resting, the two of them were able to move the pallet where I wanted it. They were coming alongside one another and bearing the burden. They shared the load, and it became bearable.

But what if I had asked them to hold the pallets indefinitely? Would they have been able to do it? Of course not. No matter how strong they were, they couldn’t bear that burden forever. It mattered that the pallets had a destination that was outside of themselves. Those brothers were bearing the burden together, but eventually they laid the pallets down somewhere where they could be left longterm.

God commands us to bear one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2), and there are many burdens to bear. Burdens of sin and sadness. Burdens in our families and in our workplaces. There are small burdens and burdens that would crush us. Burdens that are open and some that are hidden. And I want to help my brothers and sisters bear those burdens. But really, who am I? Am I really that strong? Am I able to bear your burden any better than you?

What am I getting at with all of this? That we are to bear one another’s burdens, but we are not to try to hold those burdens indefinitely. We need to find a place that the burdens can land longterm. And God provides that place for us: “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). We need to bear each other’s burdens and help one another to lay them on the LORD. I am not strong enough to be the resting place for my brothers’ and sisters’ burdens, but I know the One who is. And He has promised that He will sustain the burdened one.

But how can we cast these burdens on the LORD? We do it through coming alongside our burdened brother in prayer and the word of God. Just as Epaphras was always, “struggling… in prayer” for the Colossians, so we too can wrestle with God for one another (Col 4:12). Who else would we speak to but the One who says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28)? And we come to Him not only to speak, but to listen. As the disciples say, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). We need to bear one another’s burdens with God’s word. We want to say with the Psalmist, “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:19), and, “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28)! My words are not sufficient. We need words from another world.

I can’t bear your burden long. I would only be to you like Job’s friends: “miserable comforters are you all” (Job 16:2). But I can help you take it to Christ. Brothers and sisters, let us bear one another’s burdens and cast them on Him. He is not weak. He does not grow weary. “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).

© Jacob Crouch 2023

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