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Burden Bearers

And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.

Andrew C. Davison wrote about an encounter with Dr. Albert Schweitzer at Lambarene, on the banks of the Ogowe River. It was about noon and the sun was beating down mercilessly as a group walked up a hill with Dr. Schweitzer. Suddenly the doctor strode across the slope to where an African woman was struggling with a load of wood for the cooking fires. The 85-year-old doctor took the entire burden and carried it up the hill for the relieved woman. When they reached the top of the hill, someone asked Dr. Schweitzer why he did things like that, implying that in that heat and at his age he should not. Albert Schweitzer pointed to the woman and said simply, "No one should have to carry a burden like that alone."

That was Moses' problem--he was trying to carry his burden alone. It took the wise insight of his father-in-law, Jethro, to point out the fact that others "will bear the burden with you."

God's people were never meant to carry their burdens alone. That's why we have the privilege of prayer. Peter urged us to cast "all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7). Bearing burdens is also the role of the Church. Paul instructed believers, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).

Are you willing to help others bear their burdens? Perhaps even today there is someone who needs you to pray with him, cook a meal or provide transportation for him. It's not hard to spot burdens that need to be borne when you are looking for them. Our responsibility is to do whatever it takes to make a burden lighter. That's a responsibility that brings great satisfaction now and eternal reward in the future.

A burden shared is a lighter load.

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