Last year about this time, I wrote a couple of posts about the idea of bearing one another’s burdens and casting one’s burdens onto Christ. I had more posts on my mind, but they never reached the stage of being written.
In the past couple months, that theme has been repeating itself in a couple different areas of my life….and so I may write some of those posts I was mulling on last year.
But first, I wanted to mention something else Uncle Jonnes talked about earlier this month after leading us on a journey to the cross, which I talked about in my previous post.
He used a term (Rutegga Mubegga) in his native language, which refers to someone who helps carry someone else’s burden. And he told a story of a man who used this term as a name for Jesus. When he faced troubles and challenges, he taught his daughter how to pray, bringing the burdens to Rutegga Mubegga.
After entrusting them to the shoulder of Jesus, this man was able to live out Christ’s grace and love because he was no longer carrying the weight of the injury done to him. He had entrusted it to the one who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23), and thus was able to serve as a channel of His love and grace.
I really appreciated that imagery, it struck a chord with me. And as I think about it again tonight, I’m reminded of what I wrote in one of my posts last year. We don’t carry our burdens to Christ so that we can have an easy life. No, we are called to surrender the burdens of our sin and our self-protection so that we can take up the burden of loving and caring for others.
Last year, I was going to write a whole post about the song “Let It Go” from Frozen. It resonated with me, because I identified with Elsa’s seeking to find safety by hiding her true self: “Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.” But as I’ve thought about it more since then, I can see how misplaced her solution (running away to isolation in an ice castle) to that self-oppression was.
While that song is the one that went viral overnight, it’s not the high point of the movie. In fact, it’s closer to the low point. Elsa was indulging herself, not considering others and the effect her choices were having on them.
Her being bound by fear for all of those years, trying to control her powers herself had not worked, but neither did giving in and carrying out her whims with a wild abandon. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I see in the story a parallel to the Christian life. Isolation is never the answer. If you compare Elsa’s powers to humanity’s flesh, we can see the futility of both trying to stuff our desires and wantonly carrying them out.
Both lead to fear and bondage, not freedom.
So where is freedom found? The movie points in the right direction, but can’t give the full answer. Freedom is found in love – more specifically, the love of Christ. In Him removing our burdens as we choose to surrender to Him, by His grace and strength.
Once we have been transformed and released from fear by the self-sacrificial love of our Savior, then we can be truly free to use the gifts which He has given us: not for our selfish-gratification, but rather for the good of others.
Christ takes our burdens that we may be His servants in leading others to Him to have their burdens also lightened, and all for His glory. That is our mission in and through Him.