"Share each other’s burdens and in this way, obey the law of Christ."
Looking back… It was so funny!
My wife Sharon and I were about to take our first weekend trip to Florida as a couple! I had the perfect plan for what each of us would pack, how we would breeze through airport security for our early morning flight, sleep on the airplane and maximize our first day in the warm sun escaping a cold February in New York.
While it all worked out in my head, nothing went as planned in reality. We double packed some items, forgot others and had an over-sized bag that we could not carry on the airplane. Even when we started to run behind schedule, I recall refusing Sharon’s offer to help because I wanted to be this “big strong guy” and carry all seven bags and “figure out” how to solve any problem that occurred. Even airport security was trying to figure out how I was holding on to all the stuff I was carrying and trying to move at great speeds! In the end, we missed the flight and were stuck in the airport for hours and didn’t arrive until late in the day… And no, I didn’t count it all as joy at that moment 🙂
I should have learned from that experience that I should get help with the carrying my physical bags in life, but I can recount other times when I also wanted to do it all by myself emotionally. At a point when Sharon was hospitalized, I acted like a strong guy and internalized all of that stress. When one of our children struggled with a class for several months, I didn’t share my pain of watching my child struggle with others. When times got extremely difficult at work, to the point where one of my eyes would twitch from the stress, I just put on a stiff-upper-lip and tried to just figure it out alone without receiving emotional support.
I didn’t have an issue with helping another person with their “bags”, but I would hold mine close to the vest. If there was a problem, I kept trying to fix it alone. If the weight started getting too heavy – like some of our suitcases in the airport – I would just deal with it. I would then find myself frustrated about how much I was carrying and wondering where all my joy went – even though I was doing good deeds for others.
I’ve come to learn how important it is to live life together as a community. That means sharing in each other’s lives and that includes the heavy bags of life that sometimes slow us down. Let’s face it – we all have some heavy bags that we carry from time to time. We just weren’t made to carry them alone. It is equally important for me to share the burdens in my bag and receive the blessing of another person’s help as it is for me to help another person with their burdens. God didn’t make us to live life alone and it only makes sense that we make each other’s load a little bit lighter.
Here’s the question… Are you ready to open up? Can you share what may be weighing you down with another brother or sister in Christ that is ready and willing to help? Are you blocking the blessing, not only of being helped, but the blessing that they will receive from helping you with your burdens? Take a moment today and pray for God to open up your heart to receive the help of others and that he may also show you someone who’s burden’s you can relieve this week.
Rob Wright lives in Queens Village with his wife Sharon, and their three teenage children, Tania, Ariana and Jason. He co-leads a Dinner & Dessert growth group that samples the amazing international cuisine of Queens!