It’s Friday and the end of another stress filled week. You’re eager for the weekend, but it shows no sign of relief. You think you’ll get some time to relax (ha) and something gets in the way of that very thing, sending the stress thermometer to the danger zone. Ever have a week like that? Ever have a year like that? How about a lifetime of that? Well, we all go through daily stress, but how do we deal with it? I think we often put additional stress on ourselves by stressing out about stressing out. We can take pills to relieve some of the anxiety. We can take up a hobby that will focus our attention away from the stress. We can find some kind of diversion – like a walk in the autumn woods or a drive in the country – but guess what? It always seems to resurface as soon as the diversion ends.
As we get older, we’re supposed to have mountains of wisdom and common sense, but I think that idea is overrated too. Stress can happen at any age, to anyone and without deference to social status, wealth or lack of it. It can hit you like a ton of bricks, or it can fester within you, creating all kinds mental and/or physical angst. We’re all susceptible to it. There’s no escaping it. There often seems no answer to it. I guess it’s more mind over matter in many circumstances. We can try to think ourselves out of it, but that’s not easy either. So, what does God say about stress?
l Peter 5:6-11 “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. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff – or the big stuff either, because God has this. He knows what we’re going through. He is right beside us all the way. His only Son, Jesus, experienced pain, suffering, humiliation, shame, degradation, torture and death. God loves you. He will not leave you. He will carry the burden for you. He won’t let you fall. He is your Redeemer and Comforter. Today you can be confident that He is in this with you and He will not let you suffer more than you can handle. Trust that promise, and give thanks for it. Oh, and by the way, did you know that stressed spelled backwards is desserts? Go have a piece of chocolate cake.