On our first day of seminary, we scanned our lists of scheduled classes: languages, theology, church history. We couldn't wait to dive into learning everything from the nuances of the text to the how-to's of leading. We just knew that we would be receiving full preparation for ministry.
Though we didn't notice its absence at the time, neither of us had a class called "Bearing Burdens 101." We don't recall ever talking about this subject. We knew we'd be discipling, teaching, maybe even autographing a few books we would surely write someday. We knew we would be counseling and helping people with issues in their lives. Accidents and tragedies, hospital visits and funeral services are, sadly, to be expected in ministry.
Yet we never imagined that our calling would also include bearing the burdens of people who would make a mess of their lives, and then give us the responsibility of helping them through. We never dreamed of all the tears we'd cry and weight we'd carry because of other people's ...1