Every week at Teen Camp, campers participate in what we call the Titan Challenge. It is a fun activity that campers have come to love as they go through a set of challenges together and bond as a cabin. Some activities campers have to do on their own: throwing a spear into a hay bale, shooting a bow and arrow at a foam target, or making a basketball goal with a blindfold. But with others, campers depend on one another for help to get through it. These heavier “burdens” can include the tire flip, carrying two buckets of water tied to each end of a pole over your shoulders, and getting up and over a log.
Just like the campers have to work together and depend on one another to carry burdens in the Titan Challenge, God has carried a massive burden for us. The entrance of sin into the world resulted in some pretty stark consequences, mainly separation from Him. (Check out Genesis 3…Adam & Eve were removed from the Garden and from regular communion with Him). And overcoming the consequence of sin was too much of a burden for us to ever overcome. There is not enough “good” or “right” we can do to overcome all the wrong and evil we have each committed.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” – Romans 3:23
Christ denied Himself to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He saved us through His submission to death on the cross and defeating death through His resurrection. In this way, God carried the burden of our consequence of sin: He has become responsible to save us from eternal separation from Him when we confess our sins and recognize that faith in Him is the only solution.
In the same regard, just as Christ became responsible to us to do something for us that we could not do ourselves, we as Christ-followers have a responsibility to others to help them when they cannot do it themselves.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
What does it mean to carry one another’s burdens? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend defined a burden well in their book, Boundaries: “The Greek word for burden means ‘excess burdens,’ or burdens that are so heavy that they weigh us down. These burdens are like boulders. They can crush us. We shouldn’t be expected to carry a boulder by ourselves! It would break our backs. We need help with the boulders–those times of crisis and tragedy in our lives.”
So what does it practically look like in your life to carry someone’s burdens? Do you know a friend or family member who is going through something difficult? Losing someone close to them, a challenging workplace with unrealistic demands, parenting a child with high needs? What can you do today to show them the sacrificial love of Christ and help them carry their burdens? Maybe it’s offering to drop off dinner for them one night. Maybe it’s picking up their kids from school. Maybe they simply would benefit from an email or handwritten note of encouragement. Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to do it. It’s a Biblical command to carry one another’s burdens!
The strongest cabins that win the Titan Challenge aren’t always the physically strongest. They are usually cabins that work together to carry one another’s burdens for each other. When the loads are just too heavy, they support one another. Flipping tires and carrying buckets of water by yourself doesn’t come easy, but with the help of others, it can be done!