You know the feeling, that moment when everything catches up to you. You are running hard, trying to get everything done, but there just isn’t enough time. The impossible deadlines, the pressure to deliver, the financial consequences, the client’s expectations—all suddenly collide in your mind and . . . you are completely overwhelmed. Four out of five Americans report a need to reduce stress in their lives. Stressors—both positive and negative—come in all sizes and shapes and show up at the most inopportune times . . .
• You receive an unexpected email from an important client who needs something “right now” and that peaceful, easy feeling suddenly evaporates.
• You’re working against a critical deadline and your computer freezes and your blood pressure shoots through the roof.
• You are in the middle of a crucial conference call and realize you brought the papers from another deal you are trying to close.
Sometimes we can become paralyzed just by taking a look at our “to do” list. What do you do when that happens? Is there a motivational remedy or spiritual formula to overcome that powerful response? Yes, but it’s not anything magical, just timeless.
1. Pause, take a deep breath and open your arsenal (from the New Living Translation):
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.”John 14:27-29
“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!I look to you for protection.I will hide beneath the shadow of your wingsuntil the danger passes by.I cry out to God Most High,to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.He will send help from heaven to rescue me,disgracing those who hound me. (Interlude)My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 57:1-3
2. Talk things over with your heavenly Father. Walking with his dad, a young boy was doing his best to carry a heavily stuffed backpack walking through an airport. You could tell he was taking great pride in being big enough to carry his own bag; but eventually it was simply too much for the young fellow to handle. Finally, he turned to his father for help, and his father easily lifted the bag and carried it for him.
Even as adults, we sometimes feel like the little boy, wanting to carry all of our own burdens, as if everything is up to us. We have been brought into God’s household, cherished sons and daughters with a present and patient and powerful Heavenly Father who will not only hear our concerns but strengthen us to complete the work he calls us to.
Serving Him with you in the marketplace,
Lord, I’ve added up the work in front of me and the hours left in the day, the week, and the month. And I feel overcome with anxiety. Your Word reminds me that you are with me. You have told me to translate my stress into prayer. So here I am asking for your peace and help to take the next step.
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.”
Apostle Paul, Second Letter to the church at Corinth, The Message