If you could pick one word to describe today’s culture, what would it be? For me that word would probably be pressure. There is pressure from our jobs, pressure in our relationships, pressure to make and keep commitments, we even face pressure at home with our families. All that pressure can quickly lead us to feeling anxious and uncertain about the future. The pressures of life affect us and often lead us to one thing…STRESS! A Gallup Poll released last year estimated that 8 out 10 Americans are “afflicted” with stress.
A Google search of the word “stress” will yield over 1.2 billion results! Yes, billion! A quick look at those results and you will find tips and tricks to minimize and reduce your stress. You can take stress management classes as well as read books or articles on how to cope with stress. Classes on meditation and yoga are easy to find. There are even coloring books designed to bring relaxation and mitigate stress in your life. It seems like everyone is looking for relief from stress.
I don’t believe that stress is the problem. Stress is a fact of life and will never be eliminated. Stress is natural and can even be healthy. It gives us energy that can motivate us to action and help us reach our goals. In fact, stress can help you accomplish tasks more efficiently and experts say it can even boost your memory. So, what’s the deal with stress? Why does it seem so bad?
Too much of anything is bad and stress can and oftentimes turns bad. I believe the key is in how we respond to stress. And for me, the Bible is the best place for that answer. It’s through the Bible that I can find peace amid the pressure and a hope for my tomorrow. The Bible’s answer to stress is to depend on God. God said that we can give everything to Him and He will take care of it. Easy solution. Hard execution.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8 (ESV)
The bad stress in life comes when we realize we can’t do it all. It’s in that moment we are reminded of insufficiency and humanness. Instead of being overwhelmed in the moment with that thought, we should breathe a deep sigh of relief. I can’t do it all and I don’t have to! I am not enough, but God is and He is for me! If God, the Creator of all, loves us enough to die and take away all our failures, then we can have confidence that He cares about the daily pressures of life.