Burden-bearing is one of the highest callings for one who has devoted their life to being Christ-like. A burden bearer is a calling to lay our lives down for others. This calling is found in Galatians 6:2, ?Bear ye one another?s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.? This law that Christ established was the law of loving one another. Christ laid down His life and took up the burden of the sins of all mankind. Therefore, He was the greatest burden-bearer. It takes love for another to lay your life, your schedule, and your own needs down for another. According to Galatians it is the greatest form of love. ?Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friends.? We are all to love others and serve them by sharing their burdens, but God has gifted some people to be able to hold their heart open and feel the enormity of suffering and pain that others are going through. A person who has been gifted as a burden bearer may find life difficult when they feel so much pain all around them, but their call is to serve the Lord, therefore they are only to carry the burdens that are given by Him.
The greatest burden bearer
?Surely our grief He bore and our sorrows He carried?? Isaiah 53:4NAS
A burden bearer must learn from Christ, the greatest burden bearer, how to minister and serve others by bearing their burdens. God is the only one who can do anything about the burden, so a burden bearer is the connector between others and the Lord by bringing the burdens to Him. Many times all they are to do is take the burden and release it to the Lord in prayer. We were so burdened with pain and sin that we needed Christ to come and take our burden on the cross. The same is true when we are bearing the burdens for others, their burden is so heavy that they need someone to come alongside and help carry the burden to the Lord.
Hearing the person?s heart
Most people only communicate on a surface level. They may listen to people talk for hours and never really know what they are saying. A burden bearer can connect with a person?s heart and learn to hear what they are really saying. They connect on a much deeper level and understand much more than what is being said on the surface. A burden bearer learns to listen to the heart of others.
Feels the pain
They not only hear the heart but they also feel the pain that a person is carrying. A person will feel the burden they are carrying lift just by talking with a burden bearer. In general, people feel free to talk and share their heart with a burden bearer. Many Christian counselors have the gift of burden bearing so they will feel what the person they are ministering to is going through, and be able to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). They can weep because they literally feel the pain they are going through.
Draws the pain
A burden bearer draws or soaks up the emotional pain that someone is carrying. This is why they are a burden bearer; they carry part of the weight. A burden bearer can be a blessing just by dropping by to visit a friend for a cup of coffee or with a short phone call. Many times God will drop a burden bearer into a situation much like dropping a sponge into a bowl of water. A burden bearer will soak up pain just as the sponge soaks up the water. This is why after a trip to a friend?s house or even a visit to the grocery store a burden bearer may feel heavy and weighted down. The sponge must be wrung out or it can not be used again, and the same is true of a burden bearer.
Releasing the pain
A burden bearer must spend time in prayer releasing the burdens they are carrying. A burden bearer will find life sad and heavy unless they quickly bring all the burdens to the Lord. Their purpose is to serve others by carrying their burdens to the Lord not taking the burden on as their own. The burden bearer?s only responsibility is to carry the burden to the proper destination.
What to do
Perhaps you have found that releasing the burdens of others is not always a simple process. In fact, sometimes we didn't even "ask" to carry the burden, so releasing it may be hard to fathom.
Of course, the Lord does not expect us to carry the burdens of others forever, nor does He want for us to become proud or boastful in Burden Bearing. It is important that we are careful with this gifting, and walk in close communion with our Lord.
Short note about the author
Denise Boggs is the Founder and President of Living Waters Ministry in Statesville, North Carolina. Through her Ministry, she has reached out to hundreds of hurting people through personal Counseling, annointed writings, and Retreats. The vision of Living Waters Ministry, is to bring healing to hurting people and restoration to broken families. Information on Living Waters Ministry can be found at: http://www.livingwatersministry.com.