This is a word that ALL of us can relate to, it is something we live with almost daily. Yet there are times when it becomes almost unbearable, one weight pressing in on another....one crisis following another. We long desperately to escape, yet there seems to be nowhere to run.
How do YOU deal with stress?
Maybe you are like the wife from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou" whose husband said she just "Runn oft"....
Or maybe you are like Jenny from the movie "Forest Gump" who prayed "Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly away...far, far away!"
Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone with the Wind" had another method of dealing with her many stresses. She said "I won't think about that today. I'll think about that tomorrow".
The psalmist, David, surely knew a little something about stress when he penned these words "My heart is sore pained within me and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said 'Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest." Psalm 55:4-6 (Sounds a little like Forest' Jenny, doesn' t it?)
Still others turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, and other avenues of relief.
There are really only two places you can go for true stress relief...to the Lord Himself in prayer and to His Word.
Just listen to a few verses from the Book of Psalms:
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why are thou disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God." Psalm 43: 5
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." Psalm 46:1,2
"Be pleased O Lord to deliver me; O Lord make haste to help me!" Psalm 40:13
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me; hope in God for I shall yet praise Him for the help of his countenance...yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness [toward me] in the daytime and in the night his song shall be with me and my prayer [shall be] unto the God of my life." Psalm 42: 5, 8.
Yes, David certainly knew where to take his stress, didn't he?
We can take our stress to the Lord on our knees, also, for no one knows us like He does. No one cares for us like He does. No one understands the depths of our sorrow, our hurt, our anxiety, our fears, our disappointments or our struggles like He does.
We may share some of our problems with our friends or family and they will do their best to help. But there is no greater friend than Jesus for He knows us like no other and He loves us like no other.
If you find yourself stressed today, I pray that the words to this old familiar hymn will remind you where to go and that there, on your knees, you will find the peace and rest your soul longs for.
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer
Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.