Thursday, May 28, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about this word "bearing".

There are a few ways that it is used in modern life, such as "Bear with me". (Incidentally, many people misspell this as "Bare with me", which is essentially inviting everyone else to accompany you in getting naked.) Think about "bearing children" or a tree "bearing fruit". People speak of "getting their bearings" in a new place. Or perhaps when something awful tops off an already awful day, it is "more than you can bear".

There are uses of this word "bear" in the Bible; many, in fact. I've been thinking about two of the uses in light of recent occurrences in my family that have been especially difficult for me to bear.

Gal 6:2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

When things befall me or my family that are too heavy for me to bear on my own, I turn to others in the body of Christ that I know I can trust and literally ask them to bear my burdens with me. I ask them without shame to labor with me in prayer. I ask in complete dependence, knowing that they will come through for me. Not everyone in the church will be willing to do this with such alacrity, but it is Biblical! In college I really learned this. People go through hard times and some things were never meant to be borne alone. This is why Christ sent the Holy Spirit after Him to establish His church, His body, His bride. We were not meant to live the Christian life in isolation; it was meant to be lived in community. Bearing each other's burdens fulfills the law of Christ.

Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

This is what comes into play when you are simply tired of bearing everyone's burdens and you just want to shout at them to grow up, bear your own darn burdens, and leave me alone! I have been there. There are times when one must summon an almost inhuman amount of patience and humility, knowing what Christ bore for us. Then we must choose again and again to be gentle and patient and bear with one another in love. This can be especially difficult when you are in the midst of bearing your own large burden, and then you are asked to bear with one another, too! And not just barely bear them, but to bear with them in LOVE. Ah, now that's when I need help.

And here it is: Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus speaking,

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (New International Version)

Just reading those words brings tears to my eyes. Think about someone telling you to come to them and that they will give you rest. I know I need that. I know many people who need lighter burdens, who need some rest for their souls. Right now I feel that I am one of them. Where in this busy, bustling world can you find it?

Look to the Good Shepherd. Look to His Word. Look to His Church. The burden He gives us is never too much to bear, as long as we do not try and bear it alone.


Holly said...

Ah, precious friend, tis a good reminder you write. I also have been (re)learning several of these lessons myself as of late - especially in relation to depending on others in times of need, which is humuliating. It's good though and even if I fight it with the urge to bear my own burdens or to do things myself, the gospel truths of community come crashing into my brain yet again and rearranges my fleshy reaction.

If you would like to chat, or would like prayer, just let me know; I'd love to help!! ;)

letitia said...

Beary encouraging <3

love you, pal.