Burdens. We all collect them as we travel through life. Much of the time we have ourselves to blame, placing self-created burdens squarely on our shoulders as the result of our actions or behavior. Taking on too many of our own burdens, leaves us unprepared for the unexpected burdens of others, or those life itself forces on us.
Maybe this is why as Christians we must be prepared to bear one another’s burdens. I recently experienced this first hand. As you know from previous posts, I am helping a loved one navigate through some life-changing decisions. One moment, she was living independently in an apartment surrounded by the comforts she had accumulated. Then, days later, she landed in a nursing home. Her way of life changed in an instant.
It was decided that her apartment needed to be vacated. The stuff she had accumulated for decades immediately became a burden—a burden someone else would have to bear. Myself, along with several other family members set out to bear this burden for her. I had no idea a one-bedroom apartment could contain so much stuff. We moved piece after piece of furniture and found still more. For days it seemed like no matter how many boxes we packed or trash bags we filled, a mountain still needed to be moved. Each drawer, cupboard and closet we opened revealed another cache of mementoes.
As my mind wearied and my body ached from carrying this burden into my garage, a thought occurred to me. My Savior, whom I serve, bore my sins and sorrows, suffering and carrying them with him to the cross of Calvary. Isaiah 53:5 states that “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…and by his wounds we are healed.” In that moment the burden I was carrying for my loved one seemed a little easier.
Jesus said, “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 is light.”