Stress. We’re probably all familiar with it.
There is a good kind of stress (which I learned recently is called “eustress”) that enables us to deal with a taxing situation effectively. It can sharpen focus, or amp us up to deal with something head on. When the stressing situation is handled, we are quickly able to return to a normal state. There’s also a negative stress (called, you might be shocked to learn, “distress”) that is less beneficial, as it leads to longer term anxiety and a sense of feeling trapped: it feels as if there’s no way out of the current circumstance.
Negative stress reduces our capability to deal with the thing causing the stress in the first place.
I have to admit that I have felt my share of both kinds of stress over the past few weeks. My wife’s job has its stressful moments, and my own job is causing some stress. Unfortunately, job stress can spill over into other areas of life, and cause negative consequences of one type or another.Fortunately, those consequences for the two of us are relatively minor, but I can’t claim that they aren’t there.
I have learned that one of the best ways to deal with negative stress is worship. I’m not talking about feeling worshipful, I’m talking about the deliberate decision to acknowledge God for who He is, and to put Him back on the throne of my life. Pretty soon, acknowledging that truth shrinks the problem down to size and peace comes in.
Might I recommend, if you are feeling stressed this Sabbath, that you spend a few minutes in deliberate worship? Acknowledge God as sovereign and loving and worthy of praise, and then do it: Praise Him the best way you know how. As you spend time giving God the glory that He is due “the things of earth will grow strangely dim” as the song “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” puts it. I’ve found it to work for me, and my prayer for this Sabbath is that you will find it works for you too.