Burdens That Bless - The Warrior's Journey®

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“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’” (Luke 8:19-20) 

It’s somewhat disturbing to find out why Jesus’ half-brothers were trying to reach Him. Mark 3:21 tells us they had come to take Him home by force, believing that their older half-brother had lost His mind.  But their efforts were unsuccessful. Why? The brothers couldn’t get past the crowds which surrounded Jesus.  Jesus could have easily considered the relentless crowds to be an intrusion on His space and a burden.  But here is a case when the crowds actually served to protect Him.   

It’s a fact that many of the responsibilities that seem to weigh us down, can actually serve to protect us. This is one of the reasons married men with children live longer than single men. Not only do they find marriage and raising children to be fulfilling. Husbands and fathers tend not to engage in most of the high-risk behavior that single men do. Husbands and fathers know that there’s a family depending upon them, so they will be less likely to gamble with their lives and health. 

Dr. Thomas Lambie was a medical missionary to Ethiopia, where he established two hospitals. During his travels across the rugged East African landscape, Dr. Lambie was required to cross many rivers on foot. Often the river currents were strong and swift and could easily sweep a person off their feet and drown them. But the Ethiopians taught Dr. Lambie a life-saving trick that helped him safely cross many fast-flowing rivers. They had him pick up a large stone – the heavier the better – and carry it as he crossed. The additional weight planted his feet more firmly against the river bottom and made him stable against the current. For Dr. Lambie this became a metaphor for the responsibilities of life.  Sure, responsibilities weigh us down.  But they also anchor us emotionally and mentally. In many cases, responsibilities can save our lives. 

Don’t curse the responsibilities God has assigned you – whether it be family or military responsibilities. They will fulfill you. They will anchor you emotionally and mentally. They will help you grow. They may even save your life. And if it should happen that your burden becomes more than you can bear, then do what the Scripture commands us – share it with God. “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you.  He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). 


  • Are you weighed down with responsibility? Can you think of ways those “burdens” actually serve as blessings? 
  • Could it also be that your heavy responsibilities are also causing you to grow – perhaps by causing you to reach out to others – including God – for help? 
  • Let’s fulfill our obligations with the strength that God supplies. 

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