(Photo cred: Mitchell Martin – Instagram: @mitchellrmartin )
I started to feel stressed this morning. As I realized how many things I need to accomplish this month, I began to feel the weight of all that responsibility weighing down on me. I’m usually fairly laid back, but, when stress hits, I grow overwhelmed quickly.
Today, rather than letting that stress eat away at me, I thought a bit about why I feel stressed, stepping back from my emotions to get a clearer look at my heart and mind. As I did that, I noticed a few things.
1. Much of my stress stems from my laziness.
I have not been a good steward of my time lately. I’ve procrastinated when I should have been preparing for upcoming responsibilities, giving leisure priority over diligence. Instead of blaming my stress on others, I need to admit my own failures and repent. But even the sorrow of sin and repentance can be a reminder to steward well our time in the future. I pray God will work through conviction to discipline me that I may learn to work as unto the Lord in all things (Colossians 3:23-24).
2. Stress can distort perceptions.
Situations are rarely as bad as they appear to be. However, when we allow ourselves to get stressed, we seem to only see the bad. Today, my responsibilities loomed over me like an unconquerable mountain. Anxiety grew as I began to think only of my deadlines and my weakness. But when I gave a second thought to my situation, I realized that everything was manageable. Accomplishing my tasks will not be easy, but neither will accomplishing them be impossible.
3. God cares about me.
Jesus encouraged his listeners to stop worrying about the future, reminding them that God cares for them and will provide for them (Matthew 6:25-34). Peter encouraged his readers to cast their anxieties on God, reminding them that God cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). God’s care for us is a profound truth, and it is a tremendous blessing. These verses remind us that God is not cold or distant, unconcerned with our trivial concerns. Rather, God cares for us, such that he desires that we would cast our cares on him. He helps us in our weakness, showing his strength (2 Corinthians 12:9).