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The Bearing-Up Burro: Longsuffering

Have you seen this animal friend before? It has tall fuzzy ears, a stiff mane and is about the size of a pony. Did you guess the donkey? In some places these working animals are called burros, and they are used to carry packs or pull carts. You remember their “hee-haw!” but I will tell you how they “bear-up” so well.

Clippity, clip-clop. The little gray burro comes to sniff your hand for salt, then waits for a scratch on the head. He is a very gentle animal, even with small children, and will let you crawl on his back for a ride. Little brother pulls his paint-brush tail, but he won’t kick or stomp. He just lowers his head and nibbles at the grass while the girls make a daisy chain to hang around his neck. How very patient he is—just the kind of animal that gets along with everyone.

But playtime is not the only time our donkey friend bears up patiently. In many countries of the world the burro has work to do. Maybe it is some vegetables to sell at the market, or a load of sticks to take home, or even a child who needs a ride. Though he is little, the burro has a strong back and can be very helpful. When the work is hard and tiring do you think he will give up? No! He is willing and not selfish, so he can bear many things.

Bearing-up means to do things that are hard in a willing and cheerful way. When we have the attitude of the burro, we can love others even when things don’t go our way. It is the kind of love that God has toward us, called longsuffering. If you don’t feel well, or others are unkind, or things don’t go well, you can still be kind and gentle. Even if it you have to bear it for a loooong time. How can you do that? Ask God for His love, and He will help you.

Just think how the Lord bears up with us! When you say, “I wish I didn’t have such a mean brother!” God looks down and gently says, “If you take it rightly, he will be a blessing to you.” Many times we are unthankful and complain, forgetting how patient and kind God is. Don’t you think He would be angry? But He is so gentle and good. God wants us to be loving and kind all the time, and to do the hard jobs with a willing spirit, like the burro.