“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”Psalm 68:19
Stress gets to all of us. I’ve never really looked at a correlation of stress and football, until this past weekend. Imagine you are the running back for your favorite team. While your goal is to run the football as fast as you can to get a touchdown, it is 11 men on the opposing side just waiting to tackle you, and tackle you hard. Things tend to come at us from all directions, each one requiring all our thought and ability to try, block our path, tackle us, and ultimately stop us from achieving what we sought out to do.
As much as I would love to write today’s entry on ‘How To Destroy Stress’, stress is everywhere. We stress about our finances, we stress over our jobs or potential jobs, we stress over unaccomplished tasks on our to-do lists, we even stress over the little things like the wi-fi being down! There are all sorts of things that weigh our thoughts down, burdening us down and making us struggle for each task. When you think about all of those items which you absolutely need to take care of it can make you just drop down in shock! The thing about stress is that we never react as well to it as we would like. It affects our emotions, our physical health, our pride, our self-possession, and even our self-image. Stress attacks our body, mind, and even our soul! Of all the detrimental things that stress does in our lives, the worst is how it affects our relationship to God.
Stress drives a wedge into our walk with God, first by eating our time that we spend with Him. It takes more of our thought and concentration to deal with stress and we suddenly have less time to spend in prayer and study. Secondly it throws doubt into our minds. “Does God really have everything under control? I don’t see anything getting better”. Finally stress tends to drive us to more self-concentration and preservation. We just have to take care of this one issue. We take control back into our own hands and away from God who can see the big picture. Once we have that control back it is even more difficult to give it back to God again.
Stress is dangerous, very dangerous. Though I could continue to go into further detail on the effects of stress, I would rather focus on God’s answer. God tells us to give Him all our burdens, all our worries, all our cares. He asks us to hand over each stressor as it comes. He asks us to lay our problems and our issues in His hands. He wants us to treat Him as Father, with us as children.
We all remember what it was like when we were children, how our parents could fix anything. If we had a scraped knee mom would kiss it and dad would put a bandage on it and it would be “all better”. If we had trouble with our homework, our parents would patiently help us with it. We never really had to plan anything, we never were tasked with figuring out how the bills would get paid, we never stressed when the check engine light came on in our parents car, really the hardest thing we had to do was try and keep our room clean. God asks us to take that same attitude with Him. Let Him deal with everything. He is more than capable, and more than prepared to deal with anything that can stress us. And though sometimes it seems that He is taking His time or not dealing with it, when we look back we can always see His guiding hands working through the problem, and always differently than we would expect Him to.