Stressed About Reducing Stress?
At times, that’s my reaction!
“But…but…but,” we sputter, “that writer has no idea what’s going on in my life…what I’m dealing with…what’s at stake!”
And that’s usually accurate – they don’t. Their words can make us feel like we should be doing something beyond our ability to maintain our cool which only increases our frustration and anxiety. They can stir in us a sense of disconnect between the ideal and the real, and leave us wondering how to close the gap.
Sometimes a writer will throw in a few practical tips to help us reduce our stress — steps like planning ahead better, building more margin into our schedules, not procrastinating, and simplifying our lives. Certainly, those measures can be helpful.
But especially these days, life can come at us fast and hard, hitting us simultaneously from multiple directions like a perfect storm. We can end up feeling like we’ve fallen overboard from a ship, and that even the lifesaving buoy that’s just been tossed to us bears on it the name “Titanic.” (Not good.)
It’s worth noting that stress is not a respecter of persons in the workplace. Everyone from the executive office to the loading dock can be vulnerable to it, whether through job demands, family circumstances, or other personal situations.
That’s part of what makes the consistent, steady presence and care of our chaplains such a vital benefit in over 1,100 workplaces nationwide. They offer employees and their family members a listening ear, a prayer partner, and a source of helpful guidance, from a person committed to dealing with life’s issues from the proven perspective of God’s Word, the Bible.
Ultimately, beyond all the tips and how-to’s about dealing with stress, it really is the Truth of God’s Word that provides the solid-rock foundation for hope in, and victory over, debilitating stress.
It’s God’s Word that urges “commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)
It’s God’s Word that tells us we can go through the day “…casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” (1 Peter 5:7)
It’s God’s Word that extends to us the promise of the Lord Jesus: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
It’s God’s Word that tells us “…in Him all things [including us!] hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)
So today, as you encounter stressors in your life, by all means practice whatever tips and steps truly help you to deal with them well. Bear in mind, though, that the real reason none of us needs to live in bondage to stress is that the Lord Jesus Christ – who shed His blood and died on the cross for our sins, then conquered the grave – offers us the precious gift of His peace:
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Peace to you!