Stressed? There is One Who Can Help!

What stresses you out? Does it take major incidents, or do minor issues cause you to lose your cool?

I hate to admit it, but being somewhat of a control freak (so I've been told by my husband. Lol.), when situations get to a point that I feel as if I have no measure of management, I begin to feel the stress levels rise.

My body grows tense. I become more reserved and less joyful. My mind races a mile a minute. I tend to get snappy in my responses to family members or others who need another thing from me. And my prayer life often suffers.

But what does the Bible say about stress? Is stress bad in and of itself? What can we do when we feel as if we're gonna lose it?

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30).

The first place we should turn when we are stressed is the Lord. He alone can give rest from those things which trouble us.

Second, just as Jesus lovingly admonished Martha for driving herself crazy over trivial matters, He also reminds us to not take earthly inconveniences or circumstances to heart.

“You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Choose what is better and it will not be taken from you.” Luke 10:41-42

Sure, there will be times that we face ginormous situations that drain every ounce of peace and sanity from our bodies. Yet, even in those times, we are to choose what is better....Him....His peace...His viewpoint. Not always easy, but definitely worthwhile.

Stress in and of itself is not a bad thing. In all actuality, God gave us the ability to recognize danger, feel sadness, grieve, hurt deeply, etc. The wonderful creation of our emotions, intuition, and feelings help us also to love, experience joy, understand true contentment, etc, yet sometimes, these things can go into overdrive, and we somewhat disconnect from reality. That is when we begin to stew and plot, snap and criticize. At this point, we often "sin" because we allow our emotions to take over, instead of relying on His presence of peace, patience and perspective.

Today, whatever you are experiencing...whatever it is that is causing you to tense up and even mishandle, step back...take a deep breath...remove yourself from the situation at hand...pray...and meditate on scripture.

Allow God to pour into you His overwhelming sense of love and understanding. Ask Him to guard your thoughts, your words and your actions. Ask Him for clarity and a reasonable disposition. Ask Him for understanding. He may give it to you and He may not, but try to see it through His eyes.

It is my prayer that you and I will be better equipped to handle those stress factors that come against us.