"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load." Galatians 6:2-5
At first glance I was confused by these verses because they seem to contradict one another, first it says to carry each other's burdens and then it turns around and says for each to carry their own load. But after some online study I found that it does not. The key is in the meaning of the words burden and load.
The word for burdens is baros, which means "heaviness, weight, burden, trouble" In verse six the word for load is phortion and means, "of burdensome rites." While the first speaks of helping one another through troubles the second speaks of the responsibility each person has for their own troubles and sins.
Helping someone to carry a burden is a very good thing. But, actually taking the load on yourself is much different. It is like two people walking, one carrying a very heavy pack. They make it look easy so you say, "Here friend, let me take that awhile".....WHOA! once you strap that pack on yourself you realize just how heavy it is. I got a picture of Frodo and Sam this morning while I was thinking about this. Sam was always supporting Frodo as he carried the weight of the ring, but there were times when Sam actually wore the ring himself, and immediately he felt the montrous weight of the burden Frodo carried.
What started this whole train of thought was yesterday. I felt just a tiny bit of the load that my very best friend carries dealing with a Mom with Alzheimer's and a Dad with Dementia, that is, Dementia with quite a bit of meanness thrown in, I might add. I was on the way to get them groceries for them, as a favor to her. It's the least I could do since she actually got to get away for a bit. I stopped at a red light. Just for a second, I felt just a bit of what she must feel all the time..........Tears sprang to my eyes. She has dealt with the loss of both of them this year, but still they hang on.
"God, there but for the grace of You go all of us......"
I thought of how you have to put your own mind in a very strange state to deal with people who aren't in their right mind. I am sure she wonders at times if she is losing her own sanity just trying to deal with them. She does amazingly well. She knows who her God is and that He is a very Big God. He can handle it when she cannot.
And behind it all, one thing stands out......
There was One who took our burden for all time. A very awful burden. One that only He could carry, and He did it willingly for us. He didn't want us to have to. He knew that we couldn't carry it, not even for one moment. I think, in light of that we are "more than conquerors in this life."
When all the dross of this life is burned up, there will be one thing left.
pictures from google images......