heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart
to cast all burdens upon Thee, O Lord.
— John Baillie
(just for reference since I wanted to look up the word myself: Stout means
having or marked by boldness, bravery, or determination; firm and resolute; strong in body; sturdy.)
I hope that I’m a good friend. At the end of my life, if that is not what people remember me for, then I feel I will have failed in this life God has given me. Carrying burdens for others is a huge part of being a friend…and its so very difficult atop your own worries, failures and concerns. Since I’m an emotional person, this creates an even bigger burden a lot of times.
Recently, I was handed a rather large burden to carry for a dear friend of mine. At first it seemed passable, like the offense could be easily wrapped up and passed by. But as the conversation went on, and as I’ve had a few days to digest it…I can see now how life-changing a simple phone call or past mistake made can be. Its pretty overwhelming (on my side of the deal) to be handed such a thing in the midst of a normal, nice errand drive…but this feeling I have is nothing compared to the bearer of the burden. I cannot even imagine what all is going on in their mind and heart.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ… Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galations 6:2, 9-10 niv
So, I am there for my friend. Even though it hurts me to see them going through all of this…I will carry what burden I can. I will talk through this with them and with God, knowing that God is helping them grow through all these life-changing realizations. That is the main thing I could say…as I sat in silence praying that God would give me the words to say to my friend in their time of need. God knew all this would go down at this particular time…in the midst of life now and not life in the past. Sometimes we do just need to look at the big picture…the God picture and realize that this crappy moment is a God moment and will reveal itself to be a growing and maturing time in the future.
I apologize for writing in code (as I make jokes about others doing so), but I did need to write this and figure some things out myself. If for whatever reason this struck you in your own life, praise God. Life is so messy and sometimes we really need those moments of depth and being stopped in our tracks to get our perception of life in order.
BTW, could you say a little prayer as I go to get my “second opinion” on my migraines and neck/shoulder pains this afternoon? Thanks much!