“Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others.

Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee, O Lord.” 

 John Baillie

Read the quote above again.  Do you see the difference, dear friend?  Baillie asked the Lord to give him a stout heart to carry his own burdens, and a willing heart to carry burdens of others.  There are two different types of burden-bearers.

First, I am to carry my own burdens with a stout heart.  Stretch my spiritual muscles, and lift those cares He wants me to carry as I work out my soul salvation.   Yes, we can do all things, however we still need to know which burdens to carry, how many and for how long.  Carrying burdens brings pressure, and that pressure, or the attention caused by the burdens may keep our minds on the burdens, and not on Christ.   Also, additional strength may be required due to the weight of these burdens.  So, you and I need to be fully aware of the weight of those burdens, the limitations and the risks involved in carrying those burdens.

Oftentimes, we are tempted to carry too many things at the same time, or carry the wrong things.   We need to stop, and drop some things before moving forward.  God is a “rewarder of those who diligently seek him“. [Hebrews 11:6]  Stoutness of heart requires not only strength, but wisdom also.   James wrote God gives wisdom liberally to those who ask for it. It is through a sound heart encased with wisdom that we learn the amount and types of things we are to bear.    Carrying our own burdens as directed by the Holy Spirit, turns us into effective witnesses of how to carry burdens, and also demonstrates the power of Almighty.

Don’t carry someone else’s burdens, no matter how tempting.  Don’t do it!   “Each one should carry his own load.” Galatians 6:5 tells us everyone has his own burdens to bear.  Stop trying to rescue everybody, or fix everything.  Prevention can be worst than the cure.  Some will have a Job experience, others a Jonah.  But each person has to carry their own load.   There is a Damascus Road encounter awaiting.  Don’t be like Sarah who created Ishmael, instead of waiting for the promise Isaac.  She tried to carry the burden of giving Abraham a son, instead of allowing God to complete the divine plan.  People stretch their spiritual muscles from carrying their own burdens.  They also learn to trust God if allowed to grow through the experiences.  Rushing in deprives them of the Damascus Road experience.  They need to meet the Lord, and learn from Him how to carry their own load with a willing heart.  Let them grow. Let them learn to trust the Lord and seek Him.  They must pick their cross daily and follow Him.  Besides, if we are burdened down with their load, then we will be unable or unwilling to successfully carry our own.

However, look at the second sentence in the above quote, “Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others.” Seems like a contradiction from what I just wrote. But it really isn’t.  God wants to bear the burdens of others, but by doing it His way.  Some believers’ spirits are being crushed by emotional and physical distress. They need us to fulfill the divine law by sharing God’s love.  However, sometimes, we are unwilling, or go overboard.  That is our lesson.  Ask God for a willing, and discerning heart to know when and how to bear another’s burden.   We must understand what it means to be a burden-bearer.   Show Christ to others with a willing heart, and as we do, we demonstrate His commandment to love one another as Christ loved the church.  The whole experience strengthens everyone, including ourselves, and brings Him glory.  Remember, the key is a willing heart.

Finally, with a believing heart bring ALL the cares to Christ, the Power that calmed the raging seas, gave sight to the blind, and healed the sick, and gave us new life.  In spite of our stoutness and willingness, we still need to bring all the cares, all the burdens to Him – our ultimate burden-bearer.  

So don’t hold those burdens.  Give them to Christ, and rest in the knowledge that He is fully capable of carrying all things, according to His perfect, divine plan far better than we ever could.

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