There is hardly a person around in our society today that is not caught up in the fast paced, stressful environment in which we live. You would think that all the modern advances - cell phones, e-mails, twittering, GPS travel help, would take the pressure off but it's just the opposite. The faster we move, the more we do. The more we do, the more we demand of our self and others, the more stressed out we become.
Where can we find help? Is there anything that can give us some relief? What can release us from the stress and worries of our everyday life? The answer is Jesus.
Jesus knows what it means to suffer from stress. When Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, shortly before his arrest, trial and crucifixion, Jesus said; "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." Matthew 26:38. Mark says that he "began to be deeply distressed and troubled" (Mark 14:33). The knots in the stomach, the sweaty palms, the lightheadedness, the tense muscles in the back of the neck and head, he knows them because he experienced these things.
One big difference was that Jesus' stress was not related to his sin but the result of ours. It was not related to worry about what might happen but his concerns were over what he knew would take place as he felt the wrath of the Father because of our sins.
The relief that Jesus found was not in taking R-O-L-A-I-D-S or Goodies Headache Powder. He went to his Father in prayer. He knew that all was well for his heavenly Father was with him. He found that comfort and strength by speaking to his Father in prayer.
I read that years ago a pioneer aviator was making a flight around the world. Two hours out from his last landing he heard a noise in his plane, which he recognized as the gnawing of a rat. For all he knew the rat might gnaw through some vital cable and cause his plane to crash. At first he didn't know what to do. Then he got an idea. He began to take the plane higher and higher. He went up a thousand feet and then another and another until he reached 20,000 feet. The gnawing ceased and the rat was dead. He could not survive in the low atmosphere of those heights.
For us, worry and stress are like rodents. They will ruin our life if we let them. They cannot, however, dwell in the secret place of the Most High. They cannot survive in the atmosphere of prayer and faithful reliance on God's Word. When Jesus died for our sins, when he was punished in our place, when he died so that we might live, he took away the cause of worry and stress. Through him all is well and we have peace.