Stressed Out

It feels like spring has officially sprung around here. The weather is getting warmer, the April showers are bringing May flowers, and my car has gone from red to orange—thanks pollen. It seems like it happens every year about this time; just before you reach your breaking point of dealing with snow and cold the sun pops out and leaves start returning. The cyclical quality of the seasons isn’t something we spend much time worrying about. When it gets too cold or too hot we remind ourselves that it won’t always be like this—better times are coming. Unless you work outside, the weather is probably not anxiety inducing most of the time.

Unfortunately, there is still plenty that we spend our time worrying, fretting, and losing sleep about: paying bills, family stuff, job responsibilities, and that other thing that just popped into your head. Stress and anxiety are meant to be emotions that motivate us towards action. If I wasn’t concerned about being evicted I would never pay my rent. If I wasn’t worried about knowing right from wrong I’d probably steal all the time. In these cases, the stress isn’t huge but it keeps you in line and helps you make good life decisions.

Other times however, the anxiety and stress can become too much and we are overwhelmed. It is during times like this that we are told to turn to our faith. Jesus tells us in Luke 12, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” This is the easiest thing to say to someone else and can be the hardest thing in the world to apply to ourselves.

We worship a God that sees the whole picture. If you’re like me you can remember a time you woke up with that boulder of stress on your chest and you thought it would never go away. But hopefully you can also look at how God used that to bring you into happier times. Weeping can last for the night, the longest night of your life, but joy comes with the morning. My prayer is that we can keep our faith especially when we get distracted by stress or anxiety.