Frequently these days, we hear folks respond to the customary “How are you?” with something like “I’m totally frazzled.” or “Stressed out.” We could say, “Who isn’t?!!” We all seem to be busier than the proverbial “one-armed paper hanger” at a 20-story hotel construction site. We have “too many irons in the fire” and are “burning the candle at both ends.” We are busy, busy, busy.
Let’s just admit, though, that some of our busy-ness is self-inflicted. We want too much, and we want to do too much, and we want it all exactly the way we want it, and we want it all at the same time!! We also allow others to pressure us into things that we don’t really need to do. That being said, let’s also acknowledge that life often just presses in on us with many demands from many directions.
Sometimes we just grind through problems of short duration. But if the barrage continues at length, our nerves get “frazzled,” our temper gets short, and anxiety becomes a constant companion. We set ourselves up for a whole other set of problems: headaches, sleeplessness, depression, despair. We find ourselves looking for “ways to cope.” Anti-depressants, muscle relaxants and sleep aids are brought in to deal with the symptoms. Maybe even illicit drugs or booze. But the problems persist, and we’re still not at peace.
Let’s understand something. The problem is not the pressure. There will always be stress or pressure of some kind (John 16:33). The problem is how we respond to the stress. The Holy Spirit instructs us: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”. The result? “...the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Read Psalm 131. Compose yourself and quiet your soul like the little child who has just been fed. Look to your God and hope in Him - one day, one hour at a time. He has promised, and He is faithful.