We all start life carried—a few pounds of humanity borne within the body of another.
And our current life depends on God’s loving willingness to bear us since then (Isaiah 46:3-4).
Burden-bearing is woven into life’s fabric, a part of our humanness, and of our God-likeness.
Life-giving requires burden-bearing.
Life-living requires burden-bearing.
And loving requires burden-bearing.
Like you, I’ve carried my own burdens and I’ve helped to carry the burdens of others.
I’ve felt the weight of burdens carried, and I’ve felt the weight lifted when someone else has helped to carry my burdens.
But burden-bearing can also be life-draining, and I’ve wrestled with the fear of being a burden to others, and witnessed others not wanting to be a burden to me.
To the one afraid of being a burden, I say this: You are not a burden. You have a burden that those who love you want to help carry.
This is how it’s meant to work. At different times and in different ways and for different people, we each help carry each other’s burdens—an ongoing participation in the life and love and work of the One who lifted the burdens that we could not bear and carried them to the cross.
And to the one carrying burdens—your own or those of someone else or, often, both: You do not carry them alone. Whether you feel it or not, if you are His, you yourself are carried. You are carried not by a random porter earning his keep, but by a tender Parent who keeps you, and all that you carry, close to his heart.
And when we help to carry burdens? We’re not meant to hold onto them, but to help lift them and carry them to the Burden Bearer, where we can lean in and let them slip from our shoulders to the broad shoulders on which the governing of the whole world can safely rest (Isaiah 9:6).
So lean in with me, will you? Let’s be still, even for a moment, and rest here in the knowing that He is God and He is good and we are carried.
“Cast all your anxiety on God, because he cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:7)