Good Burdens – Abbie Kilgore
I recently came into a season where I have felt a lot of need. Early on in September, I found out my grandmother was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, and about a month later she passed away. She was so in love with Jesus, and now she’s with him! Praise God!
When my grandmother passed away, my team swept in to help me. I never had to worry about the slack that my absence created because my team picked it up joyfully. While I was gone from camp to be with my family and attend the funeral, I received countless text messages reminding me that I was missed and loved and thought of. I can say in full confidence that each of those text messages were backed by many more prayers. After walking with this group for the last few months, I have seen what it looks like for a community of believers to rally around someone in prayer. God was right when He said that it is not good for us to be alone; in turn, He gives us other people to reflect His nature when it is difficult for our eyes to see it.
Originally, I didn’t like the idea of asking my team to pray for my grandmother. Pridefully, I didn’t want to let others into a sensitive area of my life. I didn’t want the vulnerability that comes along with honesty. When asked, “How are you really doing?” A huge part of me wanted to say a simple one-worded response and let the moment pass. Life is so much easier there in the shallow end – very little faith is required. While it is more comfortable at times to keep those things to yourself it is also isolating. In the midst of all the thoughtless, “I’m good!” answers, we miss out on the opportunity for our Christ-centered community to show us what it looks like to be loved by a good and perfect Father.
It is a gift to be burdened by other people’s needs. I don’t ever want to be so disconnected that I don’t feel it when someone else is hurting. I believe that because Jesus willingly put on flesh for our sake, he experienced the full range of human emotion. He condescended to the state of humanity when He could’ve easily been exempt from our weakness. When His friend, Lazarus died, Jesus wept. He was compassionate enough to walk through the brokenness of our world to the fullest extent. In our attempts to become more like Jesus, we can further put on the mind of Christ by carrying each other’s hurt. Not because we are equipped to handle it – we will never be that strong. When we carry each other’s burdens we simply gain the opportunity to hand it over to the strong Healer. We do this through prayer. It is such a gift to be given the chance to sit with the King of Kings and trade our heavy, dirty yokes for His light one. He willingly traded that for us when He took up the cross and bore our death. Now we can respond by reflecting God’s compassion in the way we respond to the needs of those around us; because He was never numb to ours.