All day long I’ve been thinking about God and money. After all, if I’m submitted to Him, then He provides for what I need. Yet, at certain times of year (like when school starts) the need seems to out way the income.
If I’m not careful, I can let this stress distract me and ruin my effectiveness as a minister, parent and worker.
If we are honest, we all face this type of stress from time to time – it might be money, it might be time, or even emotional or physical energy.
What do you do when the stress of life hits like a tsunami?
I have a couple of ordinary responses:
- I worry. I’m good at this. I can figure and fret a lot.
- I squirm. Early in our marriage, every time the stress got too high, we moved. This was because my natural response to stress is flight – I try to find a way out. In the first 8 years of marriage, we moved 16 times. I finally stopped that (rather destructive) behavior, but still occasionally find myself perusing the want ads – not because I don’t love my job, but because I’m looking for greener grass.
Today, I heard God’s voice. “Settle down.”
Jesus faced a crowd of 5000 men and their families. The disciples felt the stress of the situation. If you have kids, you know that fever pitch when everyone is hungry about 45 minutes before dinner. Imagine 5000 people and their families all who have reached that point. The stress was big. The disciples needed a way out. Jesus said “Settle down.”
Have the people sit down. Start with what you have, and we will go from there.
This is the answer to the stressful situations that we find ourselves in.
- Settle down. Calm yourself and get your eyes fixed on Jesus – He is up to something.
- Assess what you have. Under stress, we just look for a way out or a quick fix. Instead, look at Jesus and see what He has already given you.
- Wait for provision. It always comes. When we reach that fever pitch, we feel like there is no way out – death and doom are imminent. We forget that we are in the hand of the Almighty. The One who provided food on the spot, from just a bit of fish and bread, for 5,000 men and their families.
How would the situation you are in right now change if you fixed your eyes on Jesus and worked with what you have? How would your stress level change as you are waiting for provision?