Willing to be Burdened – Matt Holliday

March 10, 2017

Back in 2012, Leslee and I founded Homers for Health, a fund-raising organization based at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, inviting people to pledge donations for every home run that the Cardinals hit. Through this foundation, we’ve helped raise over $3 million for children who are suffering with serious illnesses. Being a part of this has impacted and blessed me more than I ever could have imagined; the relationships and friendships that we’ve made through this organization have been truly life-changing.


One of the families that we’ve become really close to has recently been going through an incredibly hard time fighting for their daughter’s health. Walking alongside them through this really difficult journey, we have been able to bear their burdens with them. Even though this has been a very tough and emotional process, I know that this is what we are called to do. Among all the things that God is teaching me through this time, I have been challenged to keep my perspective on just how precious life is.


Every day we are to enjoy the moment and accept the present place that God has brought us to. I want to be present with my wife and kids at home and present with my teammates at work, enjoying the blessings that God has given me. But in addition to enjoying these moments, we are also called to be there for those who are hurting, taking on their burden as our own.


Lately I’ve been able to draw a lot of strength and wisdom from the Psalms. Reading these words, I’m able to better understand the plan and heart of God. We can clearly see David’s character throughout the Psalms—he screwed up a lot but no matter what he did, God loved it when he would turn back and pour out his heart and soul to Him in need.


“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous be shaken.” —Psalm 55:22


I find hope in the Psalms, knowing that David didn’t have it all together. He did things in his life that were obviously not honorable but God still used him to write the Psalms, showing us that we have a God who forgives our failures and hears the cries of our hearts.


God’s been challenging me lately to not just hear about people’s burdens and then brush it off, but to bear their burdens with them. I need to see and experience their pain and suffering so that I can be there for them in any way that I can, showing them the love and mercy of Christ.


There have been many people in my life that have been there for me through the good and the hard times. God brings the right people into our lives to hangout with, share struggles with, and rejoice together with—the people who we do life with the most. It may not be the same people forever (in baseball, our closest circles change frequently), but each season we find people who we can share our stuff with—those who we can both speak truth into and draw truth from.


There are times when we are able to celebrate with others and times when we are fighting to help each other make it through, but God is with us every step of the way. If God is calling me to step into a situation of suffering, I want to be obedient to that call. I hope that I can bring the peace and joy of Christ into the lives of others around me, whether they are my closest friends or simply a person in need.


“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” —Galatians 6:2


—Matt Holliday


*This year, pledges made through Homers for Health are not only counting the home runs hit by Cardinals players, they are also honoring any homer hit by former Cardinal and current New York Yankee, Matt Holliday.


Matt Holliday is a regular contributor of The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.


Check out Matt’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/mattholliday/   


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