What Are You Overusing?

Jen’s Gem:  Do things on purpose.

This week, I paid a visit to my orthopedic doctor to find out the source of the pain in my left hand. I explained to him that the connection between my thumb and forefinger felt like an overstretched rubber band. He poked and prodded. I winced and gasped.

“It might be arthritis,” was his initial diagnosis. I immediately dismissed this. In my head I said, “I don’t accept that.” Off to the X-ray room I went. He returned a few minutes later and proclaimed “Good news! It’s not arthritis. It’s an overuse injury.”

I left the office with a brace, a prescription for physical therapy, and some anti-inflammatory meds. Overuse injury. Hmmm…Made sense given that I make a living by tapping a keyboard all day.

I pondered this diagnosis for the entire day. Given that it feels like I’ve been running nonstop for the past year (ok…alot longer but who’s counting?), it’s a wonder that only my hand is in a brace! I feel like need a brace for my whole body!

I suspect I am not alone. Doesn’t it seem like everyone is in overdrive these days? Running here, there and everywhere trying to accomplish everything on our never ending to-do lists? Think about it. What is the most common response to your “How are you?” question to friends and loved ones?

“I’m so busy.”

I’d be willing to bet that 99.99% of the people you ask this question of have this response. But do you know that there is one person who never said these words? Never muttered “I’m so tired.” Or “I have so much to do today. I’m running all over the place.”

Jesus. No where in the Bible does it say that Jesus “ran” anywhere. He was never in a hurry. He never “overused” anything. How did He do it?

First, He was in communication with His Father in Heaven continually. (Hebrews 5:7) He always knew what was most important and He knew He could rely on His Father for help. We lean toward overuse when we attempt to do too much and then try to do it in our own strength (Philippians 4:13).

Second, Jesus only did what He saw His Father do (John 5:19) and we know for sure that God is not running around heaven like a chicken with its head cut off. He’s firmly seated on His throne, calm, cool, and collected (Isaiah 6:1) .

Lastly, Jesus knew who He was and what His purpose was while He walked the earth (Luke 19:10). People without a purpose are scattered, overwhelmed, and often let other people, places and things direct their steps.

Here’s a question to ask: “In what area of my life do I feel overused?” In other words, where are you feeling burned out or overworked? Is it possible that you:

a) are doing too much
b) are not asking for help or,
c) are doing something you shouldn’t be doing?

I want to encourage you this week to reflect on these questions. Take some time to identify these pain points and develop a prescription for your healing. Maybe you need a brace (hug?) to comfort you. Perhaps you need to delegate some tasks or eliminate them all together. What if you prayed and gave your to-do list to God? Ask Him to help you prioritize and “direct your steps.”

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

We were not designed and it is not God’s will for us to have “overuse injuries” in any part of our bodies or our lives. It’s acceptable to be fruitful. God wants that, but He does not want His children running ragged so they never have time to visit with Him.

Remember…you can never overuse God! He’s always there, willing to lend a hand.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024