Parenting is hard. That is no understatement. Galatians 6 tells us to carry each other’s burdens and in this way fulfill the law of Christ. Parents know how to do this well. We worry about our kids. We remember all that bad things that happen to them. We question every parenting move wondering if we have emotionally wrecked our children. We want our children to become compassionate, self-sufficient adults.
Some of the burdens we carry weigh heavier than others. For ten years my husband and I have been carrying such a burden. We knew our son had been hurt in some way without a lot of details. I had held an apology email from the offender in a file for all of these years. We carried the burden. We didn’t know when the right time to share it would be. We didn’t know the long-term consequences of the offense, so we carried it.
The message version of the scripture puts it this way:
1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. (Galatians 6:1-3 MSG).
I imagine that the burdens I have carried are only a fraction of what we lay at the feet of Jesus. Yet, I don’t want to have to carry something like this again. On the flip side, if needed, I will. I will because it’s a privilege and I know I don’t carry it alone. I know that Christ is carrying it with me just as he did this one.
It is not surprising that this burden had some heavy, difficult moments. One of the most difficult ones was sharing it with my son. He wanted to see the email immediately. He took my phone and read it. He then deleted it, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’ve carried this long enough.” It felt like Jesus was speaking directly to me.
Carry the burden happens when there is a cancer diagnosis, an unexpected death, or other unexpected difficulties that ask us to come alongside those we love, and those who tear at our hearts. We carry the burden because it builds the kingdom. We carry the burden to represent Christ to others. We carry the burden to show love and care to others.
Are you willing to carry the burden of others? Are you willing to carry the weight of love and care for others? There will be pain but there will also be joy.
How have burdens shown you Jesus? Share your story here and breathe life and bring hope to others.