A Burden Shared

A joy shared is a double joy. A burden shared is half a burden.
-Swedish Proverb

My brother sent me this video.  I marveled at it.

Here’s the set up:

My brother had never beat me at basketball, but he was getting cocky! I thought I’d use his ego against him and make a bet that would humiliate him after I beat him at basketball. Loser had to dance on the corner of Bulldog and State Street in Provo, Utah for a half hour to whatever music the other chose. Not only did he beat me, but he beat me three games in a row. It was a fluke day! But I had to dance. What this means is I probably won’t beat Shaquille O’Neil in a basketball game, but I would definitely beat him in a dance off. 🙂

First off, that anyone would think to make that bet…  (boys are so creative!)

Second off, that anyone would actually TAKE that bet.  (This from the girl who didn’t go to prom because you had to dance at it.)

Third off, that anyone would join in and do it with him…

Fourth off, that complete STRANGERS would join in and do it with him.

Once I got past the sheer amazement of the spectacle, however, I was struck by it.  Profoundly.  This guy had to do something awkward and humiliating and hard.  Oh my goodness – I can’t imagine how hard it would be for me to try to dance for that long to whatever music came on…  it’s not natural for me.  I know it would be easier for many of you dance lovers, but still, a whole half hour of dancing by yourself in a public place to music you can’t control?…  that would be hard.

But suddenly, some random person came along and decided to do it with him.  Suddenly, it’s not so awkward or humiliating or hard.  He had someone to share the load, someone to spur him on and keep him going, someone else’s creativity and energy to feed off of.  Then another person joined in.  (I have to wonder if the second person would have joined up if that first person hadn’t?!)  It went from a one person awkward event to a mini flash mob, a dance party in the streets.  And I doubt it would have really been a you-tube worthy phenomenon without the other dancers joining in.  I don’t imagine that clip would have been so popular if it had just been the one guy dancing by himself for the whole 3 minutes of film.

What a difference it makes when you’re not alone.  What a difference it makes when there is someone to share your burdens.  And what a difference it makes when you volunteer to share someone else’s burdens.  I gotta tell you – I think that first chick who jumped in to dance is one of the coolest chicks EVER!  I bet he does, too!  I wouldn’t have done it.  I wouldn’t have been willing to get in there with him and share the burden.  But she did, and she will forever be remembered as that radical, fun, cool chick who jumped in and danced with him.  He’ll never forget her, that’s for sure.  He’ll never forget how she turned that awkward, painful, 30 minutes of misery and shame into 30 minutes of fun, hilarity and you-tube fame.

The Bible has a lot to say about carrying each other’s burdens.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

*It’s a good idea.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

*It’s more than a good idea, it’s a command.

Not only are we supposed to share each other’s burdens (and each other’s joys), but we are supposed to share in the sufferings of Christ.  Paul writes about this often.

But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  – 1 Peter 4:13

*It’s for your benefit.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.  – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

*It benefits others.

Most importantly though, the Bible reminds us that Jesus himself took our burdens upon Himself at the cross.  He not only shared them, He took them, and He is willing to keep taking them, we have only to share them with Him.

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 55:22

Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.  – 1 Peter 5:7

Do you feel like you’re all alone?  Do you feel like there is no one to share your burden?  Bring it to Jesus.  He cares for you.  He will share your burden.  In fact, He’ll take it from you and give you His, which is easy and light, instead (Matthew 11:30).

Is there someone around you who is dancing all alone at the corner, humiliated and struggling?  Go dance with him.  Share his burden.  You’ll both be encouraged and strengthened in the process.

Do you have any stories to share on this topic?  Has someone unexpectedly helped share your burden?  Or have you done so for someone else?  Please share in the comments below!    

This entry was posted in Devotions, Encouragement, Object lesson, Relationship with God and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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