I gotta agree with all my friends that this quarter is probably one of the best Sabbath School lesson topics I’ve seen in a minute. Real life applications of dealing with various emotions. Awesome. Sharing once again.
While some stress can cajole even the most laid-back person to action, too much can disassemble the most together person. As a medical resident, there have been times when I have had more to do than seemed humanly possible, and instead of getting work done I was paralyzed by fear. More dangerous are the times when we are so stressed we pick an action—any action—and that can be worse than no action at all.
We see this illustrated in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is preparing to die a horrible death. Around Him His disciples sleep. He is alone. In a brief turnaround, the One who was welcomed into Jerusalem as a king is suddenly seized as a criminal. Many run, doing nothing. Mark runs away, naked, not even stopping to pick up his clothes as they are ripped from him. Peter, realizing that action is needed, cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus quickly instructs him to put away his sword, that those who use the sword will themselves be destroyed by the sword. He goes on to explain that He doesn’t need such protection, that if He wanted to He could call to God for fighting angels (Matt. 26:52–54).
So what are we to do to avoid stress? Here are some guidelines.
Stop! Take a deep breath. You don’t want your new nickname to be “Van Gogh.”
Ask God for help. The Bible is full of people crying to Him for help. Perhaps the most famous of these is David. He has written pages of psalms asking God to help him. Read Psalm 102:1, 2, for just one example.
Listen for God’s response. All along, Jesus had been teaching His disciples about what His kingdom was going to be and who was going to be in it. But they weren’t listening. If we’re too busy being stressed, we can’t hear God’s response to our cry. Jesus states that His sheep will know and listen to His voice (John 10:27).
Accept that you alone cannot fix everything. Only Jesus can save the world. Adopting a “messiah complex” will only leave you feeling like a failure.
Love and God Bless,