I remember when I used to run 30 miles a week and exercise another 5 hours besides. I lifted light weights and did aerobics and the standard floor exercises for abs and glutes and those floppy chicken wings on the back of your arms—triceps, I think they’re called. I didn’t like the notion of waving hello to the people in front of me and having those things wave goodbye to the people behind me at the same time.
Now, due to doctor’s orders, I have to limit how much I pick up, how long I bend over, and how much and how strenuous the activity I participate in. Good-bye slim, svelte body (as much as it ever could be with my genes), and hello floppy chicken wings. Now I can only do a little and boy, does it show—and hurt!
I was doing a little step work the other day (very little) when a knife-sharp stab stopped me in my tracks. Yeow! What was that? So I stepped up again and found out immediately—it was something deep inside my knee. I stopped and thought.
In all that exercising over the years I have learned at least a little bit about it. For example, if you change the angle of your body, suddenly you feel the work in a different muscle, sometimes on a completely different part of your body. When I took that step up, I was using nothing but my knee, a very fragile joint—how many professional athletes have had their careers cut short with a knee injury? Lifting that much weight over and over and over, even for just the ten minutes I allowed it, was too much for that little joint to bear alone.
So I focused on changing the working muscle. All it took was putting the entire foot on the step instead of just my toes, and pushing up from my heel on each repetition. Suddenly, the large muscle mass from my legs and up through the small of my back was doing all the work (especially that extra large muscle), and my knee scarcely hurt at all. Ha! I finished my allotment of sweating for the day with no pain, and only a mild ache where it really needed to be aching in the first place.
That’s exactly what happens to us when we try to bear our burdens alone. All we are is a fragile little knee joint, when what we need is a huge mass of muscle. Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you, David said in Psa 55:22. Do you think that strong warrior didn’t need help at times? But David was greatly distressed…[and he] strengthened himself in the Lord his God, 1 Sam 30:6. David was not too macho to know when he needed help and where to get it.
Too many times we try to gain strength from everything but God--money, portfolios, annuities, doctors, self-help programs, counseling, networking, anything as long as we don’t have to confess a reliance on God. It isn’t weak to depend upon your Almighty Creator—it’s wisdom and good common sense. The Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me? asked the Hebrew writer in 13:6. Indeed, not only is what man can do to you nothing compared to the Lord’s power, what he can do for you is even less.
When life starts stabbing you in the heart with pain, anxiety, and distress shift your focus. Remember who best can bear the weight of sin and woes, and let Him make that burden easy enough for you to handle. I still had to use my knees that day, but they certainly felt a lot better than they did before, and even better the next morning. By yourself, you will do nothing but ruin your career (Eph 4:1) with a knee injury, but you and the Lord can handle anything.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7