Do you have someone that is in your corner when you need them? Are you there for others when they are walking through tough seasons of life? I have known what it is like to carry around burdens feeling like I am alone. There is nothing worse than living in fear and anxiety, but feeling there is no safe place to let it out and share. So, we just let it roll around in our minds, waking us up at night, and robbing us of our peace.
The scriptures call for us to not walk through our burdens alone, nor to let others carry their burdens alone. The apostle Paul said, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) The word “burden” is descriptive a large load that is too heavy to be carried by one individual. It is a load that must be shouldered by others as well. We all have light daily burdens that we deal with on an individual basis, but there are times that we get hit with bigger burdens — major accidents, divorce, death, job loss, relationship issues, etc. Some of these issues can bring us to our knees and leave us weak and wounded. Life can cripple us and leave us buried under the load of our circumstances. God’s Word calls us to lovingly share the load by loving one another, caring for, and praying with one another as an individual passes through such a season and load.
As a pastor, I have watched many a person or family go through incredibly tough circumstances. The beauty though is when you see other believers surround their friends and minister to them with acts of love such as meals, childcare, support, prayer, and just being there and present. This ministry of presence is often the greatest serving as a reminder of Christ’s presence through his people. I have seen people pass through devastating life circumstances and come out on the other side because of God’s strength and peace, and the presence of others who helped bear the burdens.
I often have people share if there is anything they are afraid of at the moment. It has been so powerful to see people confess their fear, and then have people surround them in prayer and ask God to bring them peace. I have seen time and time again how people are comforted and restored to peace by sampling let others bear their burdens and pray over them. It is the power of Christians community, confession, and prayer.
In order for that to happen though, you have to have relationships with other Christ followers that you trust. You have to be willing to let down your guard and let others inside your heart and mind. You have to humble yourself and ask for prayer. We may carry some of our smaller burdens by ourselves, but the Lord doesn’t want us to carry many of our burdens alone. He wants His people to come alongside of each other.
I know each week in our churches, there are people carrying burdens — financial, relational, physical, emotional, etc. So often we shuffle in and out of our worship services, however, and never really get in touch with these needs. Many of us go to Sunday school, Bible study, or a small group and yet we never open up to others to seek help.
I am learning more and more to reach out and ask others for help and prayer when needed. Along with Paul’s admonition, James said, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
It is amazing how much I sense God’s help when I humble myself, confess my weakness, and let others pray for God’s help and healing in my life. God shows up in a powerful way and sets me free when I am willing to be obedient to him like this. Are you willing to bear the burdens of others? Are you willing to let others bear your burdens? And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-638-34-2960.