“Share one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law.”
We needed sand for the summer decorating project at Touching Hearts, so off I went to purchase. Without a buggy in tow, I headed to the back of the store to simply grab a bag. I immediately knew that this little bag of sand was heavier than I thought. Instead of asking for help, I retrieved a nearby buggy and struggled to get it lowered within. As I made my way to the car, I strategized how I would lift the bag from the bottom of the buggy. My self-talk said just muster every ounce of strength and get it done. Others are waiting on the needed sand.
Can I tell you it would have been a great funniest home video? As I pulled on the bag, the corners ripped, the buggy began to topple over and the bag was still hanging on for dear life. I briefly scanned the parking lot for nearby help and even though I spotted a possible load lifter, I determined, “I can do this by myself”. After much struggle and now an aching back, with sand resting in back corner of my SUV, I made my way back to the decorating crew.
Did I ask for help when I arrived? Of course not!
I grabbed a container and a cup to scoop a little at a time to enable me to carry it inside. Little by little I refilled the container until the inside project was complete.
I have lived much of my life carrying the heavy loads and fighting with much too heavy sand bags. There is a self-strength within that says, “I can do it. I don’t need help.” I think God calls it pride and self-confidence.
As I ponder the events of our first summer session, the story continues to unfold. As the ladies gathered around beautifully decorated tables, no one knew the weight of the sand that filled the flower filled vases. All that was showing was beauty. Delight. Joy. But how did it get that way?
The music began, the words came and the tears began to flow.
“What a friend I’ve found.
Closer than a brother.
Jesus, Jesus, a friend like none other.”
She had taken her place with microphone in hand; ready to sing to the Lord. It had been many months since she was in her worship leading spot, but there stood a changed woman. Worn and beaten by the heavy trials and tribulations of her life right now, yet there was a refreshing softness to her. The sand is pounding hard and etching her soul with new beauty.
Her closing words were a little shocking.
“Jesus has always been enough for me. He has always supplied and satisfied
everything I need, but I am in the hardest season of my life and He is not enough anymore.”
Pause. Quiet filled the room.
What did she mean? How could she stand and make such a declaration?
But then came the explanation:
“I need the body of Christ. I need you. I need you to help carry this burden. I need to give you my burden to help me carry it.”
Sometimes you just need to say, “It’s too heavy. Will you help me?”
Oh, what strength and courage she held! Unplanned, she was a visual of our new study on friendship. We were never intended to live life alone. We are called to be the united body of Christ. God made us a body and when we function doing it all alone, we rob others the joy of being his container holding the heavy.
Much of life is a weightier than a bag of sand. We struggle and strive to do it on our own. We often don’t want to entrust our pain with another or we don’t want to acknowledge we are needy of a burden-bearing brother or sister. God made us to love one another, encourage one another, help one another, forgive one another, and share one another’s burdens. This is how God connects our lives and glues us together in the spirit. He uses us as vessels of His provision. The many “one another” verses in scripture are beautiful assignments and privileges.
Will you dare to fulfill the command? Will you let someone in today? Will you let someone help you lift the load?
“Lord, make us brave to ask for help. Give us courage to let someone share the heaviest loads. Help us to accept that as we lean into one another, the church really is allowed to fulfill your God ordained purpose."