My friend and I hadn’t met for lunch in a long time since she had moved across town and was going to a new church. After we were seated and were sipping our iced tea, I asked, “How are you doing?” Her “fine” response didn’t sound fine at all.

Her voice started to tremble and tears welled up in her eyes. I knew something was wrong. She began to spell out a difficult situation in their family and shared that she hadn’t told anyone because she was afraid of what others would think.

She admitted, though, that holding it in and not talking to anyone seemed to just make the stress harder to bear. She finally realized she needed to be open, and we talked about the fact that when we don’t share our burdens we end up adding burden to burden.

What do I mean by adding burden to burden? When we have difficulty sharing our burdens with others because we think it’s too much for them to handle, we’re adding a new burden to that existing burden. This happens when we’re reluctant to open up with people and talk about what we’re going through, not wanting to impose our problems on others. But this isn’t God’s plan!

God made his family to have a desire to come alongside hurting people and help them through the hard times. It’s part of God’s plan to carry us through those difficult times and out of the valley. God goes with you and brings others to walk the journey with you. Pain is not a journey meant to be walked alone.

by Kathy Cheek

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“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Lord, open my eyes to those who are hurting and need me to help share their burden. And help me to be willing to open my own heart and share my burdens as well.