Got Stress?

Psalm 9:9-10 (MSG) God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.

In the midst of everyday life we are all faced with certain degrees of stress. In the research I’ve done, most doctors agree that some stress is good for us. However, when we operate in emergency mode all the time, stress can wreak havoc on our bodies with physical consequences such as panic and/or heart attacks, depression, diabetes, and a number of other physical ailments. As Christians, this type of “havoc” leaves us incapable of doing what God has put us on this earth to do.

When Jesus walked the earth, He set the example for how we are to live our lives. Taking a close look at his earthly ministry, I couldn’t find one verse that talks about Jesus being stressed out because He had too much “stuff” on His plate. The truth is, Jesus woke up before everyone else so that He could find a quiet place to pray (Mark 1:35), during the day He asked His disciples to wait while He slipped away to spend time with the Father (Luke 5:16).

It seems Jesus spent time throughout His day consulting the Father instead of letting the little things get to Him. I’m thinking if Jesus could find time in His day to talk with the Father, I should do the same thing. Instead of letting the “little things” at work or at home get under my skin and fester, I should seek God’s guidance and direction through prayer and time in His word. It’s not like He doesn’t know how to handle the problem. All He’s waiting for is an invitation from me to get involved.

The words of Matthew 11:28 – 30 are a great reminder to me when I feel myself getting stressed out.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message)

I know I can find “rest” in God’s word during the most stressful times. No matter what issue brought me to the safe-house of God’s word, I know I can find rest, peace and encouragement there.

Psalm 23:1-3 (MSG) God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush  meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

Psalm 73:26 (NCV) My body and my mind may become weak, but God is my strength. He is mine forever.

1 Peter 5: 7 (NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

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