Friday, July 20, 2012

All 'Stressed' Up and Nowhere to Go

Matthew 11:38
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

In a recent sermon entitled "Life is a Stress Test", Pastor Wallace explains that stress occurs in every facet of day to day living.  It's not a matter of if, but when.  And, ignoring the effects it has on us endangers our mental, emotional, and physical health.

When we think high stress levels, the big causes come immediately to mind.  Death of a loved one.  Divorce.  Job loss.  Moving.  But, these, happily for most of us, are few and far between, giving us time to acknowledge our stress, cope with it, and move on.

However, and more insidiously, it is the little stresses, the ones we allow to build up over time, which can be equally damaging if left untreated.

The alarm fails to go off.  You're late!  You jump out of bed, holler to the kids to get up and get moving, while you frantically scramble to get ready for work.

Kids to the bus.  You in the car.  Speeding recklessly to make up for lost time.  Uh-oh!  Blue lights flashing a warning behind you.  Yep!  It's ticket time.

And, yet another delay.  Now, you are really late.  As if being stopped by the police isn't heart-pounding enough, the boss hurls a tirade of criticism at you the moment you enter the office.  Belittling you in front of you co-workers.  Jangling your last nerve.

It's only 10:00 a.m., and you are ready to throw in the towel.  But, the worst is yet to come . . .

The phone calls.  Disgruntled clients.  Your child's teacher reporting an "F" on today's math test.  Your spouse to say he's working late.

The interruptions.  Co-workers needing this.  Needing that.  And, the papers on your desk are piling up . . .

No time for a proper lunch.  Wolfing down a stale sandwich from the vending machine, you stay glued to your desk.  Your phone.  Your computer.  Working ceaselessly, desperately.  Watching the clock.  Wishing this day would end.

Frazzled.  Frustrated.  Burned out.

All 'stressed' up and nowhere to go but home.  Where you will more than likely dump all your stress and anger onto your unsuspecting family.

Stop!

Pastor Wallace reminds you there is someone waiting for you.  Inviting you to come and lay your burdens at His feet.  One who will ease your troubled mind and wounded heart.

And, give you rest.

Come to me . . .

Can you hear Jesus calling?  Will you accept His invitation?

Are you ready to 'stress' down?
~
Let us go to the Lord in prayer:  In times of stress, Father, help us to remember Jesus' invitation to come to Him and find rest for our weary souls.  Let us enter into Your peace which passes all understanding and find comfort in the blessing of Your presence.  Amen.  

 

43 comments:

  1. Stress can definitely have a way of stealing our peace and getting the best of us.

    An important reminder to turn to God for peace.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting today, Jessica!
      Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, we need to remember to turn to God in prayer when we are becoming stressed; He will give us the peace we so need.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
    2. I agree Jessica! Stress only depletes of energy, happiness and peace.
      -Ginger-

      Delete
  2. Wow Martha! You described a series of events that were so believable I could feel the stress mounting. As you said, it's the little things, the small foxes that steal the grapes. Being in the moment with God helps to keep these events from forming a unsteady tower waiting to topple onto our heads.

    I do believe that things tend to come in clumps. Ugly, tough to swallow clumps. LOL!! Wonderful post my sister. Sending a huge hug your way Martha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Leah!
      Sorry I upped your stress level! :) But, that is how it happens so often, and we need to reach out to God for calm and peace and reassurance.
      So glad you liked the post.
      Hugs and blessings right back at you!

      Delete
  3. It is amazing how much smoother my days go when I remain calm and remind myself God is in control. When I think I'm in control and can do it all, I stress BIG! :) Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Rachel!
      Oh, yes, you give us all such a wonderful reminder here - God IS in control, so we can feel free to let go and let Him. :)
      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  4. Oh Martha, you couldn't have written this post at a more opportune time! Things have been 'over the top' stress in our household these last couple of months. My husband came home last night and told me that he just wasn't going to do it anymore...be stressed, and that he had asked God to take it away. I will be sure to let him read this when he comes home tonight ☺ Thank you for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Mary!
      Oh, I'm so saddened to hear that you and your family have been under such tension and pressure these last several months. Your husband has certainly made the right decision about stress and I do hope he enjoys the post. So glad to know that my words came at an opportune time for you. :)
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  5. Something needed so deserperatly right now for family members.The timing is perfect Martha!Thank you again for a great post.I just preached some of these same words to family lastnight, give it to God,he is there for you,just let him have your problems.I pray for them to have peace and let God have thier stress, he will help in his time.
    Love you cuz,
    Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Gina!
      Wow! Noting Mary's comment above, it looks like this post came just at the right time for you, too! Yes, we need to give every bit of our stress and anxiety to the Lord.
      Blessings and love right back at you!

      Delete
  6. As always, a wonderful post. I was in the middle of manic central a while ago, but stepped outside of myself to see where I was going wrong. For me it was the writing stress - not the actual writing, but what should I focus on. Silly as it sounds I was overwhelming myself, thus the look inside helped me clear my own head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Brenda!
      You don't sound silly at all. We can all too easily allow ourselves to become overwhelmed and stuck in "manic central" (love this term!). The key is stepping back and realizing God is in complete control; and we don't need to worry . . .
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  7. OMG -- What a horrible scenario unraveling! How can that many things go wrong in one day??? Love the title! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Linda!
      My imagination was on a role when I wrote about these stress moments. :) Glad you enjoyed the post and the title.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  8. It happens and when it does in a day like a string of 'bad luck' I'd take timeout off the department for five minutes and breathe fresh air. It could be that I'm suffocating God's voice and trying to be a superhero in ALL the situations even with those that are beyond me.

    It is amazing dear friend. I was praying that verse this week as mind work could be more distressful and tiring. Thanks God we receive a note that explains the delay of our transactions at work...

    I pray with you, may we allow God to love and embrace us, knowing that He takes care of our every need. May we allow Him to cut off our yokes so that we may take His' instead.

    Peace and lots of love...you will be alright!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Melissa!
      "It could be that I'm suffocating God's voice and trying to be a superhero . . ." Oh, my friend, this is so perfectly expressed! We fool ourselves into thinking we are in control when we know Who truly is.
      And, what a beautiful coincidence (God-incidence) that you have been praying this verse just this week! Wow! How I believe we are so connected . . .
      Thank you for praying with me and may we embrace Jesus' yoke of grace.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  9. Martha, we’ve had an unusually stressful week. My daughter has been off at NC State competing for the medal with her presentation, running for district VP, being interviewed for a program called A.I.R.E. because she wants to travel to national Congress. And she has nearly driven me crazy this week with HER stress. I caution her to prioritize from now on, asking “Is all this ambition worth it?” And yet she aims to do it all again next year :-( But THAT scripture is my favorite! Come unto me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Hope your weekend is blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Debra!
      Wow! It sounds like your daughter has quite the ambition and the drive to succeed. That can, indeed, bring on some stress. Sorry hers has made you a bit crazy . . . this, too, shall pass. :)
      This scripture is also one of my all-time favorites. It comes to mind often when I'm beginning to worry or feel anxious about something. It helps!
      You have a blessed weekend, too!

      Delete
  10. I know people like this, Martha. They can't find a way out. They can't find the peace in the storm. They can't find the gift in the challenges. Perhaps the speeding ticket was a message from God to slow down.

    Perhaps the boss who yelled simply needed an understanding comment. As I've said so often at my own blog, it can be a challenge to find the good, to reach out to someone who is angry, but I bet if the boss was reached out too, the situation would diffuse in a heartbeat.

    When all fails, you're correct, there is ALWAYS someone we can give our stress to. I know when I'm having that kind of day, the day when I can't center myself, that's when I give up, throw the towel in, throw my arms up and say:
    Please, God. Take this away.

    90% of the time a short while later I'm feelin better. We have to remember HE is ALWAYS there. All we have to do is reach out when we can't center ourselves.
    --
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Chris!
      You are so right - those people who stress us out may be the very ones that really need love and understanding; they are just projecting their anger and frustration. Hard to take at the time, but a valuable thing to remember.
      So glad you turn to God in times to trouble or anxiety. Yes! He will make us feel better, centered, and loved.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  11. Excellent title ~love it! Sometimes one thing can set off a chain of events and BOOM it feels as if something might explode, namely my head! Sigh ~deep breathing ~prayer ~breath in ~breath out ~slow down. Remembering is key...that and knowing ~this too shall pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Amy!
      Glad you liked the title. :) Sounds like you know exactly what to do when stress and confusion hits. Keep it up!
      And, yes, this too shall pass.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the encouragement, Martha! And I, too, love the title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Andy!
      Glad this post encouraged you and that you liked the title. When I was contemplating writing on this subject, and the title hit me in a flash, I knew I had chosen the correct topic. :)
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  13. I love the rest of the passage- "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". Another good one- Romans 8:6 "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Sarah Jane, and for sharing some of your favorite scripture! It is always good to have comforting verses memorized so they jump out at us when troubles hit. You have chosen well . . . :)
      Blessings to you, dear daughter!

      Delete
  14. Nice post...I have gone through this scenario many times. Lately, whenever I feel stressed, I try to change my thoughts...some times it works, actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Janu!
      There is a lot to be said about having a positive attitude even when we are feeling stressed. Knowing that this problem won't last forever is helpful.
      Glad you enjoyed the post!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  15. Oh yes, I've had those kind of days when I was working. But now I've learned to be cool and more importantly our life is very low-stress. Too blessed to be stressed, as the saying goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Corinne!
      Oh, I love that saying "too blessed to be stressed"! It's such a wonderful place to be in our lives. I, too, was terribly strung out when I worked outside the home. Didn't realize just how much until I quit. Whew!
      Blessings to you! :)

      Delete
  16. This perfectly describes my current state - the only thing on my mind right now is sleep....:)

    I plan to take it a bit lighter in the coming days as I have been working hectically in the last 2 weeks without an off!

    Thanks for sharing dear ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Me!
      Oh, dear! It certainly sounds like you've been through the wringer as of late. I do hope you can rest, relax and get the sleep you need.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  17. You know what sprang to mind when I read this? The Dido song, "Thank You". (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TO48Cnl66w) That song & video portray all those little annoying delays and stressors that bog us down, while also reminding us of the little things that make Life so beautiful. That call, that text, that smile from a stranger, a random flower growing on the roadside...little moments that can lift us up instantly. To my heart, each of those "moments" are a Higher Power reaching down and nudging us, comforting us, intervening gently. :)

    Namaste', sweet girl! <3

    - Dawn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Dawn!
      I must admit, I've not heard that song, but will definitely check it out. And, it's so true - when we stop focusing on our problems and look outward to the beauty of the world around us, healing and comfort can begin. I love your beautiful thoughts here . . .
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  18. Martha, I always smile reading your posts because (and I know I have told you this before but it bears repeating) you are such a fabulous writer. One sentence just flows into the next and then you're taking us on a spiritual journey while blending in day to day life situations that make us feel so at home with your words. I am in awe of your talent and I don't say that very often to people. Thanks again for this beautifully blessed message. We all need to take a breather sometimes and it's good to know we have God to give us peace and rest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Tameka, and for sharing my post on Google. Why haven't I thought to do that? Too stressed out? Lol!
      How can I thank you, too, for your oh, so kind compliments? As I read them, I am blushing, honored, and humbled because this is coming from one of the best writers I will ever know. Seriously!!! You are truly gifted and I look forward to each new post with eager anticipation. :)
      May God bless and give you peace and rest this day!

      Delete
  19. So true, so true. I find that when I feel the stress hormones starting to release, I start belly breathing and praying! Great combination!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Galen!
      Oh, yes, those meditative breaths combined with prayer can go a long way to calm us down. It's not always easy to remember this in the heat of the moment, but we all should practice it when things aren't crazy so we are better prepared for the stress-filled moments.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  20. Just as you indicated in your imaginary (or maybe VERY REAL) day, we create most of our own stress. I tend to maintain a lot of prevention techniques so that my own personal world is rather under control. What hits me is when my family revs up the crazy irrational behavior and then drags me into the drama as well. Getting my mind around the mindset of giving others responsibility for their actions rather than trying to make everyone happy is usually my biggest stressor. Once I give up trying to fix everything, I can handle the stress. Thanks Martha for a great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for dropping by today, Lynne!
      It took me a very long time to realize that I can't fix things and make everyone happy. There's still a part of me that hangs on to that wish, but, you are so right - it is a stress-causer, and we need to step back from the fray.
      And, drama? That's the worst!
      Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  21. thank you for this reminder.....and how true that the little stresses are so important but because we don't have to think or act on them as much about them as a big stress they don't change our perspective, just our mood!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Annmarie!
      Yes, those little stresses can build up to the boiling/exploding point if we don't address them as they hit. Glad you enjoyed the post and the reminder. :)
      Blessings to you!

      Delete

He's Waiting for You

Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. This week has been a hectic one for me.  I babysit the grands three di...