I just can’t picture Jesus stressed out, in a state of panic or distraught with worry. Yet, despite His promise of peace, many of us become anxious and stressed out on a regular basis. Living with stress has become normal for many. A recent study found that middle-aged women are the most stressed out people in the U.S. And this could be shaving years off their lives!
We can’t afford to let stress sabotage our health, energy or personal joy, but to reduce the stress in our lives, we need to make some changes. When you start to feel anxious—unless it’s a life-threatening emergency—stop! Take an honest look at the situation, and ask yourself:
- Is what’s stressing me out real or imagined?
- What is the underlying cause of the problem?
- Am I trying to please someone?
- Am I trying to control something I can’t control? Am I holding onto something I should let go of?
- Have I overcommitted myself? Am I carrying responsibilities and concerns that don’t belong to me? (If so, you may be preventing someone else from learning valuable lessons, or from having an opportunity to serve.)
Above all, ask God to give you His perspective on the matter and to help you trust Him with the outcome.
Jesus issues an invitation to us by saying, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”* He waits patiently for us to come to Him, tell Him about our concerns, listen to Him and ask for His help. After all, the One Who created the galaxies and set the stars in place, Who knows you fully and loves you deeply, certainly has the solution. He longs to lift the burden from your shoulders and fill you with His peace. So take time to stop and accept His invitation. It could mean the difference between living in stress and living in peace. It could even prolong your life.
In the comments section, tell about a situation where worrying improved it. And if you can’t think of one, tell about a time when Scripture or prayer literally removed stress and worry from your mind.