Stress: Missing God’s message


You’re late for work. You’re already snowed under but your boss has given you an *urgent* task. You’ve missed lunch, again.

You’re stressed. Apparently, so is everyone else.

The Mental Health Foundation found that in 2018 74% of us had felt overwhelmed or unable to cope because of stress. Among young adults, the stat was even higher.

There’s no easy answer to stress. But being bogged down in busyness, we’ll probably miss God’s gracious message to us.

You can’t

Stress reminds us that we can’t do this alone. We’re not enough. We need help. And this isn’t such a popular message in our ‘can-do culture’.

When you last felt stressed, what was your first response? Mine was: Right, I need to crack on – let’s do this. I actually skipped my prayer time to get ahead.

I wasn’t listening to God’s message. I was convinced I could do it – in my strength, in my ability, using my time-management skills.

Trying to bring an out-of-control situation under my control, I wanted to rule over the task, the situation and the person who hadn’t emailed me back.

I wanted to be God.

He can

The true God, however, delivered his message to his stressed Old Testament people.

Facing a war situation where victory was impossible on their own (2 Chronicles 20:12), God didn’t tell them to get busy for battle. He said: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

To hear God’s message in stress means quietening our busy hearts with the truth that he alone is God and is with you. He’s our ‘very present help in the trouble.’ (Psalm 46:1)

Yes, we may need to crack on. But first we need to stop for a minute, or maybe two and acknowledge that we can’t do this. But he can. And he’ll help.

We may even need to put our device down and do it right now.

When you’re stressed, don’t miss his message.