When the Burden is Yours Alone to Carry

Image of Augustus Henry
Inspiration from New Creation Ministry —
By Augustus Henry (PhD)

“I was about eight when my brother started coming into my room,” James says. “It began with gentle interference but, over time, became more serious and specific. He told me that if I ever told anyone we would both go to prison. It went on for about three years, until shortly after my dad died.

“During my teens there was a deep and profound sadness that I couldn’t shake, so I drank a lot and took drugs. I carried self-loathing, humiliation, fear and shame. When I was 18, my mum brought me to a psychiatrist. When I told her what had happened, she thought I was confused” (Fin Dwyer).

Great pain and loneliness

Have you had a problem where those closest to you knew nothing about it; or like in the story, too out-of-touch to understand?

It could be that you have been in positions where sharing or admitting a problem would destroy the confidence of those who depend on you. Or, you could have had situations where you can’t reveal to your children the nasty battles between you and your spouse; or that divorce is eminent. A lady once confided in me and related the horrific abuse from her husband. She told of the repeated emotional and physical trauma suffered at his hands. In her decision to leave, she could not reveal divorce intentions to anyone in her circle – even though her family and closest friends knew of the pain inflicted on her. That woman, her family, and friends, came from a culture where women were punished for divorcing their husbands. Had she told anyone, that would mean disconnection from the people she loved most.

Also, have you ever been in a situation where you know that that job is already lost, and the house is in jeopardy, but you can’t reveal it because your 12-year-old who is already struggling academically and emotionally would have a total break down?

Have you experienced situations where your best friend, your only confidant is the one causing your trauma and your pain, and there is no one else trust-worthy enough to tell?

There is a junction in everyone’s life where the road is lonely, and the pain is great, but your reaction will determine your survival. So, what do you do when the problem is yours alone to carry?

David’s great pain

The following scripture shows that David endures such an experience:

1 Samuel 30: 3, So David and his men came to the city, and behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives

David, in his drive to protect Judah and surrounding provinces from impending destruction, left the city to find help to fight the Amalekites, their enemy. But upon his return, found that the Amalekites had burnt the city to the ground and captured the strongest man and the most beautiful women and carried them away captive. Even David’s beloved wives were taken. So heart-breaking was that episode that David and his men wept until they could not muster a single tear anymore. And to add insult to injury, the people started looking to stone him to death – the very people for which he was risking his life.

(6) And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters.

So, how did David deal with situations of pain-in-loneliness? He demonstrates his strategies for coping with grief and trials in much of his writing.

Some people like James in the story would turn to drugs, alcohol, and other forms of self-destructive behavior. When king Saul was in David’s shoes, he consulted witchcraft (1 Samuel 28-29). Some would drown their sorrow away in cocaine and crack, but that was not the path David took. David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Encouraging oneself in the lord by speaking life

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21. In trying situations, David spoke words that would build up his life. In one place he declares, “The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” In another he wrote, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

Did you know that God has placed the power of construction or destruction within your reach? You can speak life or speak death. You can lift up or tear down. You can build or destroy even in the words you speak to yourself in time of great difficulty. So, when your heart is heavy, especially when the burden is personal, speak words of courage and life into your life.

Encouraging yourself in the lord by praying for joy

There is no more powerful tool given to the Christian than the ability to reach out to the father freely. He cares for you. “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness” Proverbs 10:28. “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done. I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands” (Psalm 92:4).

We are sometimes so engrossed, so caught-up in the material things we lose; we are so entangled in our physical entrapments, we forget what is essential; we forget contentment, tranquility and joy are things worth praying for. I have learnt to pray for the everyday things, such as happiness, peace of mind and sanity.  We forget that stress is something we can pray away. 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.” So, when the burden is yours alone to carry pray for Joy; for the bible says, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”

The Call:

If you have never been a Christian, pray for Jesus to enter your heart today. If you have already accepted Jesus as Lord of your life, pray for a closer walk with him, that is the most essential step.

Still, when the burden is yours alone to carry, pray for the second most important things: abundant life in Jesus, peace of mind, joy and gladness, and more power to speak life into your life.

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