Thursday, January 13, 2011

Darkness: A Presence of Mind

In my last blog post I spoke about physical darkness. In the next couple of posts I would like to talk about darkness as a presence of mind. Looking at our example of Judas, the Bible tells us that when he left the upper room it was night. Judas was in a naturally dark place. There is no doubt that at this time in the life of Judas he was mentally in a dark place. Judas has betrayed the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Before the night is over he will kiss the Lord on the cheek, watch as the authorities take Jesus away, attempt to go back on his decision, and ultimately hang himself. He was in a dark place.

Many are in a dark place in their mind. There are people reading this blog that are fighting battles no one knows about. Some are even fighting battles that they have not told their spouse about. These battles are going on in their mind and some of the most dangerous you can fight.

In this post I want to talk about burdens. There are two types of burdens in the Bible that I would like to share with you. One group of burdens are burdens that we can and should share. Second there are burdens that we must bear alone.

Galatians 6:1-5 talks about two of these types of burdens. There are 11 different words translated into our one English word “burden.” This means that there are different kinds of burdens. Some of these we should learn to share, while other burdens we will have to deal with alone.

Burdens are something that we all have in common. None of us are exempt from burdens. They are common to the human race. Not all of us have the same talents. Not all of us can see. Not all of us can hear. Not all of us have arms and legs. Not all of us are good looking. We have different blood types. All of us have one thing in common and that is burdens. We may not all have the same burdens, but we all have burdens.

The first thing I want you to realize is that if you are carrying a burden, is that you are not alone. So many times when the world crashes in on us we begin to feel like we are all alone. “No one has ever suffered like this before” we might say or think. I want you to know that you are not alone. And you do not have to carry all your burdens alone.

Burdens we should share with others

In verse two the Greek word translated burden is “baros.” This word means “something heavy.” Have you ever heard someone say “I feel like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders”? Well, that is because burdens are heavy to bear. The thing about a load is that it is only half a load if two people are carrying it. I read a story about a woman who boarded a bus carrying a heavy basket. When she sat down she sat the basket on her lap. A man sitting nearby noticed as they rode how uncomfortable the woman was. The man looked at the woman and said, “If you would put that heavy basket down on the floor, you would find that the bus would carry both you and your load.”

Here are some burdens you can share:

Faults - Everyone has faults. We all are prone to fall down from time to time. The first perfect man, Adam, fell in the Garden of Eden. Abraham, the friend of God, fell when he told the Egyptians that Sarah was his sister instead of his wife. David, a man after God’s heart, fell when he sinned with Bathsheba. I am not a great man of the Bible but I have failed God, and so have you.

According to verse two it is the duty of every spiritual child of God to restore another who is fallen. Why do we think if a person falls, it is our job to drive them further down, or worse yet straighten them out? If a person is burdened with a fault then we should help them to bear that burden.

Stress – Let’s be honest. I have stress, you have stress, and if we are around each other long enough we will start to stress each other out. This is a burden we all deal with. If we could learn to share this with each other then maybe we would be less likely to carry our feelings around on our shoulders.

Grief – This is the burden of sorrow, tragedy and disappointment. We have all lost someone we love. We all have had financial difficulty. We have all had problems at home. You are not alone in this burden. When we have this type of problem we do our best to hide it from everyone, while the best thing we could do would be to share it with someone.

Job’s three friends sat with him for seven days, never saying a word, to share his grief with him. Ruth could say to Boaz “thou hast comforted me.” Mary broke open an alabaster box and poured it on the Lord. She was the only one that understood the burden that Christ was facing. Let’s help each other when we can. A burden shared is a burden divided, but a blessing shared is a blessing multiplied.

Burdens we must bear alone:

The Greek word for burden in verse 5 is the word “phortion”. This word means “a load to be borne.” This word speaks of a child in the womb of its mother. This load is impossible to share with someone else.

Suffering – No one can suffer for you. Physical problems are something that we cannot share with others. So many times I would have gladly taken sickness away from my children and placed it upon myself if I could. This is impossible to do

Death – When it comes time to die, you cannot share this burden with another. Each of us will travel through the valley of the shadow of death alone.

Judgment - We will all stand before God for ourselves. I will not answer for you, and you will not answer for me.

In my next blog I want to talk about what to do with your past. If you would like to watch this lesson taped live click on the link to the right.

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