Supporting the Burdens of Others Day 5: Why Burdens Are Better Shared
So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (Exodus 17:10-12, ESV)
I urge you to read the title again to remind yourself to share the burdens you’re shouldering. It doesn’t make you “less strong” or mean that you’re not sufficient, but that with help, burdens are much more easily lifted. The Christian life wasn’t meant to be lived in solitude, and that means you shouldn’t bear your burdens all alone. God designed the local church to be focused on coming together and enjoying unity, so let’s apply that same attitude when it comes to the burdens we carry.
I know in my own case, pride comes into the picture and can be a barrier in my willingness to share my burdens with others. I try to put up a front that I’m “put together” even though that’s typically never the case. It’s easy to slip into this prideful attitude because our society is so focused on self and being completely self-sufficient. This mindset can bleed into every part of our life, including burdens and the way we handle them. Jesus wants us to realize that we need to put aside this pride and lean on those around us. He doesn’t want us to struggle in solitude but instead to confide in our brothers and sisters.
One of my favorite biblical examples of relying on others is found in Exodus 17. Israel was in a battle with Amalek, and Moses was watching over this battle from the top of a mountain with Aaron and Hur. Moses was holding the staff of God in his hands, and whenever he kept his hands lifted, the Israelites would be victorious in the battle. If his arms began to lower, the Amalekite army would gain the upper hand. Can you imagine the physical strain Moses was under? I barely pull out a full pitcher of sweet tea from the fridge without my arms shaking and half of it being spilled on the floor. Not only was there the physical strain, but also the knowledge that if he let his arms down, the Israelites would be defeated. Moses’ hands grew weary, but he wasn’t alone on that hill. Aaron and Hur were there, and they helped by having him sit on a stone and then each lifting one of his arms for him. They literally helped him carry the burden, determining the victory of the Israelites. If Moses would’ve been alone, the Israelites would’ve surely been defeated, but the Lord had a different plan.
When Aaron and Hur stepped in to help, Moses accepted, knowing their help was exactly what he needed. Our burdens may not look like the one Moses was bearing, but they may be an addiction, anxiety, an eating disorder, depression, stress, a distorted body image, or a financial struggle. No matter what your burden may be, I pray you are willing to bring it to light and let those around you shoulder it with you. Suffering alone won’t solve the issue; you will be left defeated and exhausted and possibly with more burdens than you originally started with. I pray that we may push all pride and ideas of self-sufficiency aside and, in complete humility, be transparent with what we’re going through. As a result, we can overcome those burdens, deepen our faith, and be more connected to those around us.