The German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics and whose work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science defined insanity as doing the same thing the same way again and again expecting different results. Unfortunately, when it comes to the high levels of stress and anxiety we so often experience, many of us continue trying to cope in all the same ways that have never worked for us in the past. Studies have proven stress causes over half the deaths of people who die before the age of 65. Similar studies have shown 80 percent of people who see their doctor feel sick because of stress. The fact is, God has a better way for us to leave stress behind and live in His peace.
We constantly put pressure on ourselves to get more, have more, and be more. Some parents create schedules for their children that would kill any normal healthy human being. There are the music lessons and recitals, there are sporting activities and daily practices all before the big games, there are full days of school, then onto homework, and extra credit work to maintain the best grades, and let’s not forget the parties and sleepovers, weekend trips to the amusement parks, fun centers, and movies. All these types of activities while enjoyable and entertaining create stress for everyone.
There is enough pressure just dealing with everyday life when things are going well but when the storms of life come it is an altogether different ball game. Some storms are very real, hitting very close to home: a challenging health diagnosis, a job loss, or a divorce something you couldn’t even begin to anticipate. But so much of what we spend the majority of our waking moments preparing for, anxiously waiting and worrying about never come to pass. As Mark Twain once said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
God has placed loving boundaries around your life, and when you move outside of His boundaries to satisfy your uncontrollable appetites, stress begins to creep in, then it grows, and builds, gaining momentum, before you know it, stress is boldly walking through the door. Those insatiable, driving appetites you cannot possible satisfy can lead you to live a lifestyle filled with stress.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Take a deep breath and just stop for a moment. Ask the Lord to show you what you are trying so hard to accomplish or to be in life, that is bringing you stress. Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” So what should you do when you are feeling stressed?
Pray and give thanks!
When you pray and give thanks look what happens next: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7.
Try it for yourself and begin to experience the Peace of God.