The key to understanding burden and load is the words of Galatians 6:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.
Here you can clearly see the differences. We each have our own load. Let me list some of the factors in our lives that can constitute a load:
These are all things we are born with. It’s not a complete list — it’s just what came to mind while writing this. They are characteristics that make up who we were designed to be by God. We each have our own load. Some loads are pleasant, some are not. Supposedly being rich, beautiful and smart is a pleasant load (I wouldn’t know).
But think about it. I seems to me that the richer, prettier, smarter you are the less likely you are to be in the kingdom. It is up to you how you react and what you do with your load. It’s how we react to the call of God in our lives.
Burden, on the other hand, is a special thing that happens to a person, a trial, temptation, pain or blessing. A burden can range from winning the lottery to a horrible accident. The variety of burdens is endless for we have a very creative God whom we serve. We also have a very nasty enemy. It can be confusing. Where is the boundary between poor health and a specific medical condition? Where is the border between creativity and tempting opportunities given to the creative person?
What is clear is that we are to help people around us bear their burdens, special circumstances, trials, and situations.
What is equally clear is that trying to change a person’s load is a fruitless endeavor that does not help the individual. This is why winning a lottery rarely changes a person’s life. This is why the ravages of cancer enable some people to glow with the fruit of the Spirit. This is why Job went back to the life of Job after his trial.
’tis a puzzlement… It can only be approached in prayer and answered by the Holy Spirit within us.
But it needs to be carefully considered as we minister. A lot of ministry tries to change loads instead of lifting burdens. We need wisdom.