From Pastor Tom - Stressed or Rest?

“I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”  Job 3:26 (NIV)

 Have you ever felt the way Job felt?

 Consider these statistics: 

  • People now sleep 2½ hours less each night than people did a hundred years ago. 

  • The average workweek is longer now than it was in the 1960s.

  • We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail.

  • We spend five years of our lives waiting for people who are late. 

We are a piled-on, stretched-to-the limit society.  We have too much rush, too many choices, too much work, too much debt, too much activity.  We’re information overloaded, chronically rushed and chronically exhausted.  Simply put, we’re stressed by the pace of life.  In the military we call it “OP-TEMPO.”  The pace has picked up and there is no hint of a slow-down anywhere in the near future.

 Is there a solution?  Yes.  It’s called rest!  Consider the following verse:

 “Come to me and I will give you rest – all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke.  Wear my yoke – for it fits perfectly – and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”  Matthew 11:28-30 (LB)

We think that rest is connected with a complete stop of work – it’s not.  It is connected with the following three principles:

  1. Find what fits:  Find the parts of your job which you enjoy. These tasks become your “rest period.”  Why?  Because “it fits perfectly” – I enjoy them.  I have the skills and abilities to accomplish the job and I enjoy working on these tasks.  It fits!  It is no longer a burden but a joy.

  2. Take smaller bites:  The question has been asked; “How do you eat an elephant?”  The answer is simple; “One bite at a time.”  Often we try eating the whole elephant in one sitting.  (Carry the whole load.)  Look at what Jesus said; “I give you only light burdens.”  Smaller loads.  Break down the large tasks into smaller pieces. 

  3. Seek God’s guidance:  Many of the things we get stressed about don’t really matter in God’s big plan of things.  What does God care about?  Ask Him.  (Prayer)  Read the book He wrote for you.  (Bible study.)  I’ll bet He’ll let you know what the important things are.  He has already said, “Come to me.” 

May God Bless,                                                                                                                            Pastor Tom