Burdens: Bear or Bare?

📅 March 29, 2020

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Henry David Thoreau.

“Desperation” can range from personal loss to fear of failure to performing below expectation…desperation for yourself or someone you love.

“Quiet.” Many prefer keeping problems to themselves, rather than risk feeling foolish or being criticized for considering some circumstance is “a big deal,” when to most people it isn’t.

People of faith can be most remiss in asking for help because they do not want to appear lacking in spiritual maturity, the ability to trust God as they should, or to exhibit a ‘lack of faith,’ only to be told “you only need faith the size of a grain of mustard seed. Do you know how small that is?”

So, asks the believer of himself, do I tell someone my heart is breaking? Keep it to myself? Solely entrust this trial to God, admitting, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief”?

Answer: “All of the Above.”

Galatians 6:5. For every man shall bear his own burden.

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

Psalm 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.

Burden-bearing is a part of life. It begins at an early age when you go to school and are “on your own.” You discover your classmates are different from you; some are better, some are mean.

Hopefully, you have family sympathetic to your needs. They empower you and hold you up when you fall. You learn you can go home “at the end of the day” to find a listening ear and open heart.

And then, you find there are people not even related to you who become friends and are as concerned about you as if you were part of their family.

And sometimes, you’ll blessed by kindness from strangers.

Best of all, when you come to know God, you will learn the supreme joy of casting yourself on Him and finding Him sufficient.

And then you can turn to that fellow human being, bearing a burden, and say, “I found God sufficient. How can I help you?”

Burdens can be “do-able” or impossible. Either way, we can’t go around them. We have to get under them and keep moving.

But we need not bear them alone.

Find a trustworthy person, one who will keep your confidence, and listen with an open mind, not minimizing your heartache, nor violating your trust. Share your burden and you will allow that person the joy of “fulfilling the law of Christ,” which is, of course, what He called the “second great commandment”—“Love your neighbor.”

Best of all: trust God with one burden, find Him sufficient, and eventually, He will become your “first line of defense.” Casting your care on Him, “because He cares for you,” will become second nature, and eventually, first.

But never forget there are shoulders other than His or your own. “Bear ye one another’s burdens” works both ways. I bear yours. You bear mine.

Desperation? At times, yes.

But it need not always be quiet.


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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.


Semi-Finalist - 2021 Royal Palm Literary Award Competition - Florida Writer's Association