Lord, I have a heavy burden
of all I’ve seen and know
it’s more than I can handle…
I’ve been helping with a project at church called “PLACE”. It’s a personality and spiritual gift assessment to help people discover how God has made them and where they fit into the Body of Christ. For the past several weekends, I’ve spent my time in one on one meetings with different women in our congregation, listening to their stories and guiding through this process.
I’ve been amazed at the women God has put me together with. One after another, something they’ve opened up about has had a direct bearing on my story and the burdens of my heart. I’ve been so blessed by these women; each bringing me gifts through their vulnerability. One woman had amazing wisdom in how she is navigating her life through a long-term difficult relationship. Another, like me, is just learning how to let her guard down and expose her brokenness to another. Another inspired me by her courage to stand against a devastating circumstance, actively moving to overcome evil with good. Another chose to stay; rebuilding a marriage from the ashes of betrayal and loss. So many burdens, so many blessings we shared.
It is a humbling thing to realize how God is using their stories to help me in mine. I’ve asked God for the humility to fully receive the gifts He has brought me in them. We all have this sense that we “don’t want to be a burden to others”. My goal in leading the meeting was to keep a straight face; keep it together. I’m fine. Keep it to the business at hand.
What a sacred trust to be invited into another’s burden; to have access to the heart’s struggle below the surface, behind the veil of self-containment. It is an honor and a holy calling to speak into another one’s life in that place.
We’ve been talking about “gifts” in church too for the last couple of weeks. Our entire salvation is a gift of God’s grace. The main point of the sermon has been responding to God properly – to His amazing gifts of grace, redemption, and forgiveness of sin. Responding to God in faith, love, obedience, and that overflowing into how we respond and relate to others. I kept thinking, as I listened, what a miracle it is when we are able to do that. It is a miracle to get past ourselves; past the face-saving masks we wear. When we come to the place of sharing burdens and bearing with one another in love, we begin to get a small glimpse of the rich blessings we have in Christ. We start to come into our new being, created to be like Christ in holiness and righteousness. The God-man left heaven and came down to us. He became like us and bore the burden of our sin upon the Cross.
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens”
– Psalm 68:19
This whole experience reminded me of the Sara Groves song, “When the Saints”. Her opening lyrics are at the top of my post. The second verse is:
Lord, it’s all that I can’t carry
and cannot leave behind
it often overwhelms me
But when I think of all who’ve gone before
and lived a faithful life
their courage compels me…
And when I’m weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of…
It is here where Sara lists some of the saints: Paul, Silas, Moses. It is here where I think of the women who have shared their stories with me. They are saints who inspire me to join in singing the chorus…
When the Saints go marching in …..I wanna be one of them
What a miracle in Christ: we are one of them.