Start of this series—> Flying Lessons
[Carrying one another’s burdens]
I don’t know what I’d do without the people God has put in my path. When I feel like I’m about ready to sink there’s never a hand too far from reach. Unfortunately, I keep listening to lies, and I keep pulling back with what feels like every good reason and well meaning intention: ‘I’m not in the right state of mind. I’ll be a wet blanket. I’ll only be a burden.’ Yet Scripture tells us to carry one another’s burdens. So why do I feel like everything has to be going just swimmingly, and that I have to be everyone’s personal ray of sunshine?
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” —Galatians 6:2
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” —Philippians 2:1-4
Jesus said that in this world we would have trouble, and ain’t it the truth? Can I get an amen? (I’m kidding, who wants to amen that statement!?) I don’t like trouble. I’m tired of trouble. I need to unload, but I’m always afraid to do so. I don’t want anyone to see me sinking, and I don’t want to be a complainer. So I have a tendency to shrink away from conversation when I so need it the most.
A dear friend of mine said to me that he’s been thinking about light. For peace of mind he spends time out in nature taking beautiful pictures; he looks for what catches his eye, and things that are peaceful and unique. In reference to his photography he said that he tries to keep the dark under control while keeping things in focus. With the weather–in his neck of the woods–turning back towards those grey wintry days once more, he said to me, “I think I’m going to have to make a deliberate point of seeking the light.”
Of course all of what he said makes me think; but this particular phrase stands out to me: “keep the dark under control while keeping focus.” Do you know how hard that is to do on your own? Do you know how hard it is to carry your own burdens? My guess is that you likely do. You’ve likely shrunk away too when you needed that light the most, and when you could have used some lightening of your own burdens.
I have a double standard. I’m willing to be an encourager and I love to be that ray of light when I’m able, but when it comes to being on the receiving end of that light I somehow feel unworthy, like I’ve failed by not being a constant joy. My guess is that those who love me will see it differently. (Though I certainly will likely still try to make every effort not to be a burden and bring them down). However, I’m looking at it a little differently. I need to voice things, and a true friend–I know–will understand.
I really didn’t have to look too far to find a ray of light, but it took being vulnerable, and it took opening up. It also took unpacking some of those burdens. After the fact however I did feel a little lighter, my spirit a little more elevated, and I was blessed to know that I’m never truly alone. Sometimes, it may take some effort to deliberately seek that light, but I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge.
Isn’t the light in the photo I’ve used for this piece–as well as the one below–just beautiful? Photo credit goes to my long time friend and bro in Christ Tom. (Thanks T!)