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“Carry each other’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
Julie’s face was set in a worried, tight expression, a look I had seen on her often in recent months.
“What’s the matter, Julie?” I asked.
“Oh, the doctor just told me I have gastritis!” she exclaimed. “I’ve read that it can become chronic, and can have some painful consequences!”
“Well, if this is your first attack, maybe it won’t become chronic,” I said. “I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you. That might make it worse.”
“But you’re not me!” Julie returned. “The doctor suggested that I try to avoid tension as much as possible. Avoid tension! How can I do that when I have to work in the same office with that impossible woman? Whenever she gets a chance, she sticks her verbal knife in my back!”
“Why don’t you find another job?”
“That’s not as easy as it sounds,” said Julie. “I’ve worked for this company for twenty-five years. I’ve built up seniority, as well as my salary. This woman has been working there for only a year. Why should I let her drive me out?”
“Well, it certainly sounds like a bad situation, and I’ll pray with you about it,” I promised. “You know, I had a problem like that in an office once.”
“How did you handle it?” Julie asked.
“I asked the Lord to help me to answer with kindness whenever the other girl took a stab at me,” I told her.
Julie nodded. “Well, I’ve tried to be nice to this woman. Maybe if I ask the Lord, He will show me what else to do.”
“Are there any other things that might cause tension in your life?” I asked.
“I have a lot to do,” answered Julie. “I’m ‘on the go’ all the time. On my lunch hour, I run downtown to do some shopping. I belong to several organizations and hold offices in them. Also, I just bought a new car, and keeping up with the payments is difficult. I’ve been taking in odd jobs on the side. There just seems to be so many things to worry about!”
“Sounds as if the devil has you in a corner,” I said. “Look, I have a book dealing with tension. I’ll loan it to you. It might help.”
The following Sunday I brought the book to church to give to Julie. And I prayed daily about her situation at the office and other problems. Several weeks later I saw her in Sunday school class. “How’s it going now?” I asked.
“Much better!” she exclaimed, smiling. “I can hardly believe it, but things are so different at the office. That girl’s attitude toward me is changing. And that book has helped me so much!”
So many people carry unnecessary heavy burdens in our rush-rush world today, burdens that actually make them sick. Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Questions: What unnecessary burdens are you carrying? What is God asking you to do about it?
About the Author Muriel Larson