Mark was only 5 feet, 8 inches tall when he left for college in the fall. He worked through the Christmas holidays and didn’t return home again until the February break. When he got off the plane, his mother was stunned at how much taller he looked. Measuring him at home, she discovered he now stood at 5 feet, 11 inches.

Mark was as surprised as his mother. She asked him, “Couldn’t you tell by your clothes that you’d grown?”

“Since I’ve been doing my own laundry,” he replied, “I just figured everything had shrunk.”

Have you ever been so busy doing the things you do every day that you miss something really big? It is easy for parents to be working so hard that they miss their children’s rebellious attitude. Husbands or wives can get involved in a new project and miss that their spouse is going through a difficult time. Friends can become so focused on a certain event that they don’t realize that someone else is going through a trial.

We need to stay aware and alert to other people’s problems and difficulties. While we can’t solve all of their problems, we can often be a burden-bearer and make life easier for others. The Bible calls us to carry other people’s burdens, but we can’t do that if we don’t even know they are carrying burdens in the first place.

Why don’t you call a friend today? Take the time to really listen. When you hang up the phone, you may find that your own burden is now easier to bear.

The believer’s talents are not to be laid up for self but laid out for service. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder