Imagined Burdens

Doug here.

These last few weeks, I’ve been tired. Extremely tired. Like head spinning, no sleeping, nauseating, too-tired-to-fall-asleep exhaustion. This has happened because of multiple factors, a few of which include owning a new business, family emergencies, an uncomfortable mattress, and horrible, horrible insomnia.

Times like these happen. I’m sure I don’t have to tell most of you. And if you also care for a friend or loved one with some sort of illness, injury, or otherwise special set of needs, it can seem even more difficult to go through these seasons.

When we experience times of extreme fatigue, sadness, anger, or depression, that is when we start to ask  ourselves the big question:

What do I do when [insert name] becomes a burden I can’t bear?

There are probably a thousand variations of this question, and I don’t doubt that some of you have asked it to yourself in a thousand different ways.

But no matter what way you ask it, if that’s come across your mind, you’re asking the wrong question.

The simple truth is that your friend or your loved one can never be a burden on you. I don’t care if it is your sister, brother, spouse, child, aunt, cousin, or friend. Your uncle either, for that matter.

You could have a special needs child, elderly parents that have to live with you, a friend suffering from sexual trauma, or, as in my case, a wife with PTSD. While I sympathize with each situation, and my heart breaks for each and every person dealing with such hardships, it doesn’t change a thing.

I’m about to get really blunt here.

The idea that true love means that you agree to let someone be a burden, and also the very real idea that your loved one is becoming a burden did not originate in your own mind. If that is you, you are being influenced demonically. And I know when people throw that scary “D-word” around, we start to think of heads spinning, crab-walking down staircases, and projectile vomiting split-pea soup.

The truth is it would be so much easier if that was all that was going on.

Simply put, the Enemy, or the devil, likes to use things like that to keep our focus away from the wonderful things GOD is doing. He takes the footholds already in our life, such as exhaustion, fear of inadequacy, and a dozen other things, and exploits them until all we can focus on is our “burden”.

That is the lie. What, then, is the truth?

The truth is no human being is a burden on another. It doesn’t matter who it is. We are all created for the glory of GOD, and in ways we’ll never fully grasp, every person brings GOD’s glory back to him, and such a beautiful creation could never be a burden. Sure, we get tired when we spend a lot of our energy taking care of others. Sure we sacrifice here and there for others. But they aren’t ever our burden. They are GOD’s creations, and they belong to Him.

While there are still hardships, the people in your life aren’t one of them. The world, now, that’s a burden.

So, the next time you find yourself thinking of your friend or loved one as a burden, stop and ask yourself where that is coming from. Ask GOD for guidance, ask Him to show you what He sees. And ask in faith.

In closing, I’ll leave you this week with a bit of a paraphrase of the best advice I’ve ever heard:

If you ever feel your loved one is a burden or that you yourself are a burden to your loved ones ask yourself: Am I hungry, tired, or lonely? If you can answer “yes” to any of those, try to remedy those first. And always, always, always pray.

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