Verse: Galatians 6:2
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
I love the visual imagery here with this verse. It reminds me of when Jesus said, "If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles." (Matthew 5:41). At that time the Jews were under Roman occupation. It was within Roman law that they could make a Jewish person carry their horse's load to give their horse a break. But they could only force them to carry it for up to a mile. It was into this context that Jesus spoke that verse. He wanted to take something that was a form of powerlessness and turn it into a gift. It was a practical way to love your enemy.
Obviously Paul in this verse isn't talking about physical burdens. But the same Christian spirit of generosity applies. It wasn't convenient or easy to carry the Roman's burden an extra mile. In the same way, it will rarely be easy or convenient to "carry each other's burdens" in life. But that is the way of Jesus. Where we lay our lives down for each other (John 15:13). Where we prefer one another and look to each others' needs and interests and not just our own (Philippians 2:4). Where our faith is not just something we talk about, but something we do (James 2:18).
In what ways can you carry someone else's burden today? Maybe it is through prayer. Is there someone you know who is struggling and needs prayer? Can you commit to praying for them routinely through the next few days? Maybe someone needs encouragement. Can you text them right now, or call them, or send them a gift or a note? Maybe someone needs practical help. Can you tell them you are coming over to help? Can you do more than say, "if you need something" and say, "I'm going to help, what would be most helpful?" Go to the grocery store for someone. Take someone out for a coffee. Spend time on the phone with someone. The list goes on.
There are so many ways that we can carry each other's burdens, but the first step is taking the time to get our eyes off of ourselves long enough to notice when someone is carrying a burden. And then once we do, having the courage to take that step and start carrying!
I pray that you would show me when people are in need. Help me to have eyes to see what you see God. And give me "God ideas" for how to carry people's burdens in a way that will let them know how much you love them.