Whenever we are able to help someone in need, we feel a sense of purpose. No matter if it’s helping a family member, friend, or even a stranger, those who give often feel a higher sense of reward than those they served. However, when we find ourselves seeking help when we are in need, it often feels like a burden we are putting onto others.
Recently, a friend of mine who is a small church pastor shared a story about experiencing such a feeling after she was in a car accident and faced several months of recuperation. As a single person with no family local, she mentioned how difficult it was to receive help from her congregants and friends even though she has spent a decade in ministry helping them.
With her permission to share, this is what she wrote on her blog: “There is such a feeling of helplessness when you find yourself in a hospital bed unable to move. For me, I went one day completely independent —fully capable of doing any task while going above and beyond to help others. But the next day I found myself losing all sense of independence and was dependent on others ranging from nursing staff to provide me around the clock care to elders and deacons at my church to fulfill my ministerial roles. However, it was in those painful weeks of recovery that I learned the everyday abilities I take for granted, but also the generous gifts of love and support we can get from others and the wondrous blessing they can be in our time of need.”
For those of us from the Christian faith, Galatians 6:2 shares with us the need to rely on others when we need help. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
For people of faith, we are called to carry the pain of our fellow brothers and sisters as if it was our own. From their struggles with financial issues, a painful divorce, or an illness, we are all called to carry their burden. And it’s through Jesus Christ that he will carry the burdens of all us together.
“Relying on God has to start all over every day as if nothing has yet been done,” writes C.S. Lewis.
Whether it’s reaching out to those in our lives when we are carrying the burden of depression, illness, a personal setback, a layoff, or a mistake we made in our lives, we must not carry our pain alone out of pride or guilt. We must share it with others who can help us carry this weight. Because while the weight we carry may be too much for ourselves, it’s not for those of us in our lives. And the burden we all carry together as a people will never be too heavy for God to carry.