He Ain’t Heavy

The road is long 
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
So on we go
His welfare is my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there

For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another
It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share

And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Those are the lyrics to Clay Crosse’s rendition of He Ain’t Heavy. This song was released in 1997 — the year and even the month of my very first short-term missions trip. I must have listened to that song a thousand times as I remembered the faces of my Russian fellow believers, the abandoned children and youth from the orphanages, and the countless people with whom we had shared the Gospel with doing door-to-door evangelism — the people who are etched into my memory with a recollection fiercer than any before or since. It was listening to that song, no doubt, that led me (also a thousand times) to beg God for a way to live amongst and serve those same people. Everything about the impressions of that song was my ideal — to live for the good of others, to carry their burdens no matter what the cost and, in doing so to be a reflection of Christ, Who loved us to the point of dying on the cross for our sins. This was, to me, the definition of kindness, benevolence, and graciousness — everything I begged God for the opportunity to be.

God granted me my request and paved the way for me to do just what I had asked of Him; and my joy truly was complete. However, in the process I came to understand that there are some burdens too great for my shoulders. Oppression, darkness, sadness, evil, deception, selfishness, hate — all are among the burdens far too heavy for me to carry for myself, not to mention for another. Perhaps this is the struggle of every follower of Christ, to desire desperately to reflect the One we love so much, while daily experiencing the truth that we are not strong enough to fight even our own struggle with sin lodged deep in our own hearts (Romans 7).

And then enters Kindness:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

The word easy in “For My yoke is easy…” is the same word in Greek as the word used for kindness in Galatians 5 when referring to the fruit of the Spirit. How appropriate that Christ would define kindness as carrying the burden of sin on His shoulders so that we could be free to follow His example. Rest assured, He WILL call us to tasks too cumbersome for our own feeble selves, but it is His kindness that allows us to take the role of watching Him shine strong and victorious in the lead.

About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to loving her amazing husband and raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.

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