Week 42 Sharing Burdens and Helping Each Other

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 42

Scripture Readings: Deuteronomy 1-3

Key Scripture Verse: Deuteronomy 1:12-13 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”

Here Moses has been instructed by God to move camp and to prepare the people to take possession of the Promised Land. He notes how numerous the people have become–he has been carrying the burden of taking care of any disagreements and disputes, judging when necessary, keeping the peace, caring for them all. He realizes a need to delegate some of the responsibilities.

Sometimes it is easy to take on too much or to try to do it all yourself. God wants us to lean on him when we have burdens too heavy to carry. He also wants us to help each other.

Some of us tend to be somewhat independent, and we want to do things ourselves. And that works for a time, but we need to know when we should ask for others to help us.

I believe that we are all called to different purposes and are given different spiritual gifts and talents and that God wants us to use those talents and gifts to his glory.

As members of the body of Christ, we all have a part in the kingdom. Sometimes we need to step aside and let someone else shine and develop. When we allow others to participate in a task, we allow them to become invested in it.

When we allow others to use their talents and gifts to God’s glory and we work together, sharing our own gifts and talents, the task is not only easier with no one person carrying the burden, but also can give a greater glory to God with what we are able to accomplish than if only one person were to do it all.

The book of Romans explains our role with helping each other in the following verses (Romans 12:4-8): “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

May we remember that our purpose is to do his will, not to gain glory for ourselves. May we always remember to do whatever we do in the spirit of love. Let us encourage and support each other. May we share in each other’s burdens.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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