It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Burdens I

Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

So how many times in a day do we wonder what it is we could be doing to follow Christ, be doers not just hearers, to have the recognizable fruit of repentance? This verse is most certainly saying that bearing one another's burdens is, at the very least, one way to do so.

I know that often we, as children of God, are given the gift of being able to quickly and without question bear someone's burden as if it were our own; to feel the weight of it it, somehow gain insight into the burden, see its insidiousness and extent of injury it causes. We are blessed with the supernatural ability to pray like a cloistered for the person who's burden we bear, to cry their tears of frustration with or for them. But what about those other times, times that we are not "gifted" with the ability to bear another's burdens? Are we not still called by this word of God to stand ready and willing to bear one another's burdens when we see others loaded down by worldly ways?

Is it really enough to say, "I will pray for you,"? Or drag out a well worn scripture that the sufferer can resite to us before we even begin it? Or cook a meal? All these things being wonderful for sure but is that what this verse is trying to draw from us? Is that our living sacrifice that we give up to God? I have no idea if people who I have born burdens for really even noticed a difference in the weight they were bearing. I do not really understand why we are called by God to do this thing. I do know that my heart has been broken, I have sat in confusion, I have felt beaten and I have felt defeated, I have choked under overwhelming oppression. For someone else.

There have been times when in a moment I desire to be released from the burden of others when either it appeared that I would not survive the pain or the ordeal appeared to do no good for the one whom I was concerned with. But thankfully God has never answered my pitiful self-centered pleading. Instead he has gently reminded me of what he has done for me or he has quietly whispered that "you can do all things through Him who gives you strength" or both. He has always sustained me and has never abandoned me to the brokenness and oppression. I must admit that there were times that I wondered in my weakness where He was. But then knowing what it feels like to be under a burden of my own doing I am only too glad to bear it for another whom I love through Christ.

But these times, these precious times that have taught me and brought me much, they always seem to be ones that I have to be asked by the Holy Spirit to come to. I do not remember ever running to God to ask God if I might have the privilege of bearing someone's burdens. Is it enough for a servant to just do the work that is brought to her to do? Shouldn't a good servant go and ask for work? Shouldn't a servant who knows what benefit the work brings look for the work? I feel so lazy, so a person of "just good enough" Isn't it rather evasive of me to be so grossly general to only ask God, "what can I do for you today? What would please you?" Doesn't the verse at the beginning of this tell me exactly what pleases Him? Aren't there other verses that tell me quite specifically what it is that pleases God, what it is to be a follower of Christ, what the fruit in keeping with true repentance looks and smells and tastes like? Shouldn't I not only ask God moment by moment to guide me into what He desires but can't I get a little more specific and direct with Him? Can't I go ask for an actual job. Ask permission to do something I see needs to be done according to His direction in Scripture? Right now with my lame "what should I do?" question I feel I am buying myself some time. Not that God can't just speak right up and holler in my deaf little ear what he wants done, but if I ask a general question I can spend a whole lot of time deciphering what it is He is "really telling me." And wasting time getting to a job is a great way to not have to do so much without appearing too lazy.

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