Can friends help me carry my burdens?

Can friends help me carry my burdens?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

March 19, 2014: Can friends help me carry my burdens? Please share this new Precious Prodigal Post:

2 Kings 19: 2 “And [Hezekiah] sent Eliakim…and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet.

Surrounded by the enemy, who had blasphemed God, told the people they could not trust or believe their king, and facing the most desperate crisis of his life, King Hezekiah’s first response was to humble himself and go to God in prayer. Taking his eyes off the problem and turning them to the Problem Solver was the right place to begin. But Hezekiah did more than that. He also sent messengers to Isaiah, shared the details, and asked Isaiah to “lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.” (2 Kings 19:4)

You may be a person who has no problem letting people know you’re hurting. On the other hand, you may be the one who can’t lift that 500-pound telephone when your heart is breaking. Although my first response isn’t always prayer, eventually I get there. And sometimes, but not always, I share that burden with someone I can trust. Now there’s the rub: When should I share and when should I not? I noticed some things about when and how Hezekiah shared this burden.

The first is that he didn’t deny there was a problem. We’ve all seen terrible things going on in a home while the family continues to deny there’s a problem. An example of this is that alcoholism has usually active in a home for 13 years before anyone admits there might be a problem. Then it’s another 7 years before something is done about it. Hezekiah wasn’t in denial. He knew he and his people were in serious trouble.

The second is that he didn’t “dump” it on the people he was supposed to be leading. Because Hezekiah was in sackcloth, they knew he was burdened. But he wasn’t groaning and saying there was no hope to the people who were looking to him for leadership. If I’m walking around with a negative, “gloom and doom from womb to tomb” attitude in front of my kids and others who look to me for leadership, this crisis isn’t the only problem I have.

The third is that Hezekiah took it to one friend he could trust. He didn’t have a fellowship dinner and use the microphone to tell everyone how desperate he was or how badly he was being treated. Sharing a burden with one trusted friend or in a small support group is one thing. Announcing our problems to the world is quite another.

He took it to Isaiah knowing he could count on Isaiah for both good counsel and prayer. Isaiah had suffered and had met suffering with courage and faith. The character and reputation of this godly prophet told Hezekiah that Isaiah could be trusted not only to advise but also to pray. Prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of godly friends because the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

I don’t know where you fit in this equation. Are you trying to brave it out and carry it by yourself? You can certainly try to do that, but reaching out will make that burden half as heavy as trying to carry it alone.

Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, reach out to a trusted friend or support group and share what you have been trying to carry alone?

© 2014 Precious Prodigal

Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
March 19, 2014:
Can friends help me carry my burdens?
Please share this new Precious Prodigal Post:

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