What is stress?
Stress. We all experience it sometimes. It’s that crushing feeling when you’re about to take a test you haven’t prepared for. It’s that worried, panicky moment when your mom sees a glimpse of your less than average report card. It’s the agonizing moment walking up to a list in the hallway to see if you’ve made the team. It’s the nerves that well up when you think about asking that cute guy or girl out. It’s the sweaty, fidget-inducing, upset stomach, uninvited emotion that floods over you as you apply for that college or that job. Feeling stressed yet?
We get it. You’re not alone. So, we asked some of your friends to tell us what they’re stressed about and how to deal with it.
So, here’s the thing: stress is more than a feeling but less than the end of the world. And even though it may not seem like it—you’re going to be okay. You will make it. We know that’s easier said than done. But here’s the thing about stress—it’s become so normal to most of us that we can sometimes forget it’s a problem.
You know what we mean? Stress is kind of like ambient noise in the background of our lives. We notice it at first, but over time, it becomes this normal thing we feel like we have to live with—until it gets louder. Inevitably, stress stops being in the background and starts hindering us from living the bold, courageous, passionate lives Jesus has called us to live.
But get this: Jesus didn’t call us to live stressed-out lives. He calls us to live in freedom. Jesus came to give us life and life to the full. We don’t have to live stressed-out, maxed-out lives. Jesus also tells us in the book of Matthew that if we are weary or burdened, we can come to Him. He will give us rest.
So, today, if you’re feeling stressed, know that you’re not alone but that God is waiting and willing to carry that stress for you. You don’t have to live in stress. So, over the next couple of days, we’re going to learn not just to deal with stress but to overcome it.
Challenge: Make a list of things you’re stressed out about. Pray specifically that God would take away your stress for each item on the list and give you a new perspective about it.