Thursday, April 17, 2014
I serve as the preaching Pastor of a church near Minneapolis. I can't go into details, but right now the stress of this role is exceedingly high. In addition to this, my family is going through some things that are fairly heavy as well. As I add up the pieces, I'm facing seven ministry related and four family related situations. Of these eleven things, only 2-3 are notably heavy in themselves, but it's the combo of all these things that's making the stress in my life palpable.
But at the end of the day, stress is a test. Will I trust the Lord? Will I cast my cares upon Him? Will I let him carry the burden day by day? Will I take care of my health, or turn to junk food to comfort me and ease the pain, even if temporarily?
Stress is a test, and by the grace of God in Jesus Christ, I want to pass this test! So, I'm going to get up now and eat a veggie-laden breakfast burrito, have a few meetings, and then go work out! May Jesus be exalted through this storm, and may I learn to trust in him and have deep joy while the winds are blowing and the waves are crashing.
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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" (Matthew 11:28-30).
"Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:5-8).
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).