Ever heard of the word stress? It’s this thing that can either get you motivated to get moving to do something about it or it will be that thing that drives you to hide under the covers and pretend stress won’t find you. Funny thing about stress, everyone has it (well, except those who are resting in the graveyards). It’s why God gave us adrenaline, I think, to compensate for what He knows life will throw our way.
Saying that, let me add that there are those times that stress seems to be traveling at warp speed straight at us. At that time it is spelled more like S-T-R-E-S-S and has the power to nearly decapitate us (after all, it affects our heads with a headache, our stomach with a stomachache, our motor skills with a lack of momentum, and an overall case of panic). What do you do about that kind of stress?
God in His great wisdom warned us ahead of time that these times would come, and He is the One we turn to. There is a scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that talks about “no temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to everyone. And God has provided either a way out or a way to stand strong in the faith going through it” (paraphrase mine). You might ask where temptation and stress cross over. The temptation in a stressful situation is to forget that we have a God who promises to help us sort things out, give us the strength for each moment, and going through it with us. He does not leave us to deal with the situation alone.
As I was feeling quite overwhelmed recently, I started having those issues. The headache was making itself known to me, and the sluggishness was setting in, making me want to turn the other way and not face life in all its fierceness. That’s when a relationship with Jesus really comes to the rescue (understand relationship is something you have built up to. And it’s never too late to begin on building a relationship with Jesus). As I was struggling with the physical repercussions of stress, God started reminding me of my spiritual help that He had waiting for me. First off, He reminded me of Zephaniah 3:17 that talks about how He is with me, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in me (side note here: think of a parent enjoying the antics of their children, whether they are struggling to get it right but trying their hardest, or they are having a time of things falling into place and they are content). God takes delight in us BEING His child. He also quiets us with His love (how wonderful it is to know that God loves me in the midst of what I am going through. We used to say “God loves us anyway, no matter what” because we are His. We just need to remember that). And He will rejoice over us with singing (now, that’s not the sour note, hard to listen to music. That includes whatever your music tastes. But singing that soothes your frazzled soul).
So, with that in mind let me finish the rest of my experience.
I was in that panicky state because I was looking at all the events rushing up to meet me. As God started working on me, He began with reminding me He was with me and that He loves me. Then He reminded me to do one thing at a time (all the things that needed doing couldn’t happen all at once anyway). So, starting with just getting up out of bed and taking care of my morning routine (I can do that). Then it was to sit and have breakfast, read a little Bible to settle the nerves, brush my teeth (I can do that), and go get in the car (I can do that). You want to know an amazing thing! When I got to my destination I discovered God had it covered, there was help available. So God was with me and He sent help in the form of believers to meet the need. Whether God changes my outlook and calms me down or He brings in the Calvary, He is there. Since I knew the Scripture I knew that the next step was God’s. And He was rejoicing over me because I trusted in Him.
The next time stress assails you, remember the steps to sanity. And trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6).