Stress! We all have stress from time to time, due to external circumstances. And sometimes we have stress from our own doing. If you are like me, maybe you put too much pressure on yourself. Maybe you try to juggle too many things. Perhaps you are a perfectionist? We think we can manage, until one small thing after another becomes too much. Suddenly we find ourselves overwhelmed.
I am learning that I am not a superhero. And I am learning that just because I feel something, doesn’t mean it is true. On a recent day which I felt was useless (remember feelings aren’t always truth) I wrote down these words: “Some days you will be rocking and rolling. Some days you won’t. Give yourself grace! Listen to your body. You can only do what you can only do. God will help you. Lean on Him. Baby steps are still steps.”
God has been leading me to live a more intentional life. In part, this means slowing down and making better choices with my time and energy. And it means realizing that I can’t do it all. And it means learning to “be” and not always “do.” While initially it may be a bit painful to admit that we are not superheroes, it is actually a good thing.
When we see our weaknesses, we can make a decision to rely on God’s strength. When we stumble, we can decide to run to the Father. When we can’t carry ourselves, we can choose to lean on the Lord.
Paul knew he was weak without the Lord. His words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 inspire us: “…Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
And Jesus knew we would try to carry more than we could handle. His words found in Matthew 11:28-30 encourage us as well: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
What an invitation! What Jesus offers us should cause us to let out a contented sigh. But it can be hard to let go, when we are used to being in control.
Sometimes perfectionism and pushing ourselves too much can be a spiritual issue. The enemy will use anything he can to take our eyes off of the Lord. Sometimes that means keeping us so busy, we don’t have time to meet with God. And perfectionism can lead to idolatry. If we think we can handle it all, we will feel we don’t need to rely on God.
Psalm 46:1 is a beautiful verse that can assist us when we need to learn to hand everything over to God. It says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
The words in this verse are powerful. Let’s break it down.
Saying God is our refuge means that He provides us with safety and shelter.
Strength means God is physically strong. He can sustain under any amount of pressure or force. There is nothing He can’t handle.
Ever-present tells us that God is always there. He is constant and reliable.
And God is our help. He is there to assist us and support us. And even more than that, He actually wants to help us.
Reflecting on the words in this verse brings us comfort. When we are tempted to do it all, I pray we remember that we have a Savior who really can do it all. Let us learn to rely on Him and Him alone.
Thank you for reading!