Another excerpt from my upcoming devotional. I hope to have it ready in about two weeks. (Now published-here)
“Bear one another’s burden and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6: 2
“For each one shall bear his own load.” Galatians 6: 5
These verses have helped me learn to rest by reminding me what is mine to carry and what is not. In verse two, “burden” in the Greek gives us a picture of a large boulder. When we have a boulder to carry, we need help from others. We look at this verse most times, and see what to do when someone is in need.
What if you are “the someone” in need? Painful losses such as the death of a loved one, a divorce or having cancer are “boulders” we sometimes have to carry where we need the support of a loving community. If we lose our job, we may need help from others to push through. Rearing a family takes support from others, as does going through the process of healing past wounds. All these are examples of burdens with which we will need help if we are going to rest in the Lord while they’re going on.
In verse five, we see that in some instances we bear our own load. “Load” in the Greek gives us the picture of a backpack, something we’re able to handle. Daily chores and activities are examples of our loads. We go about most days just living life and doing whatever mundane things that come along. We share the daily stuff with family, friends and co-workers, but most of the time we carry on without losing our peace. When backpacks become too hard to carry, when we have lost our peace and can’t get back to joy, we call that depression. We are no longer at rest. Now our backpack has grown into a boulder and we need to ask for extra help.
As we go through our daily lives, taken in context, these verses tell us we need Jesus during both. As Galatians 5: 25 says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Whether we are experiencing a boulder or a backpack, we need Jesus. We do not want to get into the thinking that says, “This is too small for God,” or even, “This is too big for God.” Jesus wants us to bring everything to Him.
Application: What are some boulders in your life? Do you have help? Do you need to ask for help? Turn to Jesus, but get human help where it’s needed. Do you have any backpacks you are whining about that are part of your daily load? Distinguish the two. Check to see if you need to change your attitude to one of appreciation. Jesus wants to know about all your boulders and your backpacks.