[CF Devotionals] 2009-03-13 - Bearing Burdens

There is a story of a king from long ago that had twin sons. Back then the first born was the heir to the throne but there was some confusion about which one was actually born first. As they grew up, the king tried to figure out a fair way to designate one of them as crown prince. Everyone thought the boys were equal in intelligence, strength, and everything character. But the king thought he recognized a particular quality in just one of them.

One day the king called them to the throne room. He said, "My sons, the day will come when one of you must succeed me as king. The burdens of sovereignty are very heavy. To find out which of you is better able to bear them cheerfully, I am sending you together to a far corner of the kingdom. One of my advisors there will place equal burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go to the one who first returns bearing his burden like a king should."

In a spirit of friendly competition, the brothers set out together. Soon they came across an elderly woman struggling under a burden that seemed far too heavy for her frail body. One of the boys suggested that they stop to help her. The other protested: "We have a burden of our own to worry about. Let us be on our way."

The one boy hurried on while the other stayed behind to give aid to the old lady. As he continued on his journey, he continually found others who needed help. There was a blind man that took him miles out of his way and a lame man that slowed him way down.

Eventually, he did reach his father's advisor, where he received his own burden and started home with it safely on his shoulders. When he arrived at the palace, his brother met him at the gate, and greeted him with dismay. He said, "I don't understand. I told our father the burden was too heavy to carry. However did you do it?"

The future king replied thoughtfully, "I suppose when I helped others carry their burdens, I found the strength to carry my own."

Although the author of that story is unknown it is a good illustration for how we as Christians should live our lives. I could even imagine Jesus using a parable like that with his followers even. Definitely his followers learned this principle from him.

Romans 12:15 (KJV) - Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

I Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV) - Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Galatians 6:1-3 (MSG) - Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Each of us will encounter difficulties in our lives. We will all go through periods where work is stacking up over our heads or we have no job at all. We will all experience loss. We will all struggle with sin. Every struggle and every burden can be overcome with the strength that God provides. Often he provides that strength though as we help others with their burdens.


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted