Too much family responsibility?

IT is so important to extend a helping hand when loved ones are facing an uphill struggle. Showing concern in loving, practical ways is natural, something most of us want to do. ``Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ''1 is, in fact, a New Testament mandate. Making sustained efforts to help another, however, can sometimes leave a person feeling weighed down and distressed himself. It may even be tempting to try to stop caring so much, to try to lay off some of the responsibilities. Very often, though, the real need is to experience the lift that comes from understanding more of God's underlying love and support. This support is felt through the power of His Christ, the divine influence expressed so fully by Christ Jesus.

Jesus said, ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.''2 We can avail ourselves of this timeless promise as we recognize that the tender Christ is always present to comfort, uplift, and sustain us, no matter what the circumstance.

The Christ-power, felt through prayer, enables us to glimpse something of our true relationship to God as His image, His spiritual reflection, continually governed and nurtured by His love. God, who is Love, is the source of man's joy and strength. As we come to see more of who we really are -- His unburdened spiritual likeness -- we find a sustained sense of peace; we gain inspiration, new energy. We're then better able to express our caring and compassion in a full, effective way.

God is responsible for His offspring. We need to realize this fact. As Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.''3

We can be assured that there is never a moment when the power of divine law is not available to be called upon. And we cannot, in reality, ever be deprived of its power. God's law is good, supreme, all-inclusive. There simply is no other power.

Whether one is caring for a child, helping an older parent, or looking after a husband or wife who is ill, the most wonderful solace and support come from gaining a knowledge of our relationship to God as His offspring. Mrs. Eddy says: ``Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. As the apostle expressed it in words which he quoted with approbation from a classic poet: `For we are also His offspring.'''4

Because our true identity is spiritual and perfect now, continuously reflecting the Father's love, we can prove that we're not helpless before fear and suffering -- that in fact we have God-given dominion. Though challenges may at times seem overwhelming to us, we can meet them as we open our thought to the Christ-power; as we accept the reality of our spiritual dominion and inseparable relationship to divine, ever-present Love.

Christ does awaken us to the truth of ourselves and those we care about. It dispels the false sense of helplessness and shows us the way forward. Through prayer we can come to feel the divine influence and see it expressed in our lives.

Equipped with a spiritual view of what is eternally going on with God and His child, we naturally feel the touch of Christ. We feel divine Love's support of all concerned. Worry and strain then fall away because we realize that God never places such weights on any of His offspring. Legitimate concern and care for others does not need to become an anxious burden -- not when His powerful love is seen to be operating as law in our own lives, for those we love, and for every individual.

1Galatians 6:2. 2Matthew 11:28. 3Science and Health, p. vii. 4Ibid., p. 332. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. Psalms 55:22

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