“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
(Galatians 6:2 NKJV)
There is a story about Moses in the book of Exodus that I feel gives us the perfect visual of what it means to bear another’s burdens.
The Israelites were at war with the Amelekites. Up to this point, the Lord had been working through Moses in various ways to speak to His people. Oftentimes he had Moses raise his staff, and this time would be no different. As the two armies battled, so long as Moses kept his arms raised with staff in hand, the Israelites held the advantage. But when he dropped his arms, the tables would turn. Naturally, after some time his arms became weak and too tired to lift. Moses’ friends, Aaron and Hur came alongside of him, found him place to rest and stood on either side….holding up his hands. Because of their love for their friend and their willingness to shoulder his burden when he was to weak to do it alone, Moses’ held steady and the victory belonged to the Israelites.
Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
God calls us to readily be available to help others. And He doesn’t tell us, “listen to your friends issues and walk away having done nothing.” It clearly says to bear them. In looking up the definition of the word, I found three interesting synonyms: support, carry & take.
When someone comes to you, hurting and seeking guidance, try applying these three things.
1. Support them by truly listening to the issue at hand. Be sincere in your desire to help them and reassure them that they are not alone in this struggle. Encourage them as often as it crosses your mind, not just in that moment, but in the days to come.
2. Carry them when the battle is too much and the weight is so heavy that they can no longer stand, offer them assistance in other areas of their life that would lighten their load. Maybe you fix them dinner a couple nights or offer to watch the kids; think about what would help you out in the situation and do that.
3. Take the need as if it were your own and cover it in prayer. Beat down the doors of heaven for you friend, believing that God hears each and every one and that He will come through right on time with the perfect response for them.
And in so doing these things, you honor the Lord.