I recently injured the Achilles tendon in my left leg. I was doing roundhouse kicks with my right foot into a punching bag. I concentrated so much on my right leg, trying to make sure I didn’t bruise or hurt it, that I didn’t even notice that my left foot was under strain. I woke up the following morning and my left Achilles tendon was throbbing. I had no idea what had happened until I remembered the kicks from the day before.
I couldn’t believe it! The bruises on my right leg from all the kicking had no effect on my ability to continue working out. But the tension I put on my left foot, forcing it to pivot and stabilize my vigorously moving body, prevented me from working out and even walking correctly. In fact, I had to wear an ankle wrap for several days and soak my entire leg many times in freezing water. I was so focused on my right leg that I totally missed the burden I placed on my left leg.
As I soaked my aching foot, I realized that I have done this in my relationships too. I’ve leaned on people to the point of strain, while I kept my focus on some seemingly important aspect of my life. I was so worried about getting bruised in a certain area that I didn’t see the burden I was placing on others—a burden they should never be expected to carry.
It’s easy to get so self-focused that we quit concentrating on the needs and feelings of those around us. Something big or crazy enters our world, and we expect people to be our pivot point and stability. Little do we know, however, that these people have worries and troubles of their own, and our extra weight causes them to buckle under the pressure and become wounded. We are shocked by their snap reaction, but our self-absorbed ignorance never once perceived the strain that we caused them.
People have their limits. They can only absorb so much pressure. But God is all-encompassing, and He can carry the weight of the world on His shoulders. Jesus says that if we yoke ourselves to Him, our burdens will be light and easy to carry. We give Him our worries and needs, and He gives us back a peace that eases all of the stress and tension in our lives. This truth is a supernatural phenomena, and it is available to us at any moment. Instead of putting our strain on others, we can put our trust in God who is able to take care of all our needs.
Have you ever been so worried or consumed with something that you neglected the feelings of a family member or friend? Did this pressure put a strain on your relationship? How can communicating more with God help alleviate the burden we place on others?
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”
(Philippians 4.6 NLT).
You can also read this devotional over at Internet Cafe Devotions.