Stress

…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. ESV 1 Peter 5:7

I’m not sure how it does it, but my phone has a stress meter. You put you finger on a sensor, wait a minute, and it gives you a stress readout. Interestingly enough, it’s mildly accurate…when I was on vacation, it registered low stress; upon coming back it registered moderate stress. I think it really charts how many times a day I check my email and then registers my stress level accordingly :-). Ironically, on vacation, I started awake at three in the morning and then stayed awake for an hour worried my rental home won’t rent when the tenant leaves in two months. What’s up with that?

The following verse in Peter reminds us the devil roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Perhaps when we are stressed and anxious we play right into his hands. For this reason, Peter urges us to cast our cares on Him because He deeply cares for us. On Saturdays I examine myself–my soul, my mind, my physical body. Part of this examination is a stress check. Am I taking on too much? Am I trying too hard to play God? Am I worried about things that I need to turn over to God? Is my anxiety a sign of idolatry: worshiping myself as God and hoping I can fix things that only God can fix? Do I need to cast more things on Him and grow my fear and reverence for Him? These questions help expose my stress and anxiety level. Then I can begin to give these things to God.

Because we are complex creatures, our souls, bodies, minds and spirits are intertwined. That’s why I try to examine them all together each week. If my mind is anxious, often adding sleep and a good run (aspects of my physical body) will help. If I’m stressed, but haven’t fed my soul with adequate time with the Lord, then often an extended time of prayer and mediation on Scripture will help. Often, I need to renew my mind–reminding myself of the sin of anxiety and of God’s promises to me. Through these steps, I limit my stress, and am able to cast my anxiety on God…where He wants it in the first place. Rest in Him, my friends!

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