Do you feel tired? Do classes seem to be hard to catch up? Do you want to crawl to bed and never leave? Well, I think that you have all the symptoms of stress. As students and just roamers of this earth stress are something that you must deal with most of our lives. Stress is always going to be our constant companion but how much stress should we allow in our lives? We’re about to find out.
One thing we are sure of is that God created stress. He created our bodies and design them in a way that it gives us little notifications messages. If it’s too cold outside, our body send us a notification that makes us shiver and want to get a cozy hoodie or if we put our hand in the fire immediately will get a message saying “move your hand” right? If you decide to ignore that message well your hand is not going to look so nice.
C.S. Lewis said, “pain is God’s megaphone” and some of us are a little bit hard of hearing. The same way that God designed our bodies to give us warning signs the same happens to our spiritual side of us. God wants us to pay attention to these signs and tune our ears to the messages that our body send us.
Another way that God uses stress is to help us redefine or rediscover our priorities. Everyone has priorities but are they arranged in a way that God is always at the top or does it vary from now and then. In the hastiness of this world, God never meant for us to live this world by ourselves and learning how to leave our daily struggles in his hands seems hard to do. Since we can do them ourselves but, can we?
From the Israelites, we learned that by abandoning our God-given priorities we put ourselves in a position that will only harm us and leave us disappointed. In Haggai 1:5-11, God’s people experience what life is really like when we put other priorities above God.
Now, this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.”
6 You have planted much but harvested little. You eat but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.
From these people, we should take advice and understand that our ways will always lead us to disappointment and leave us with little. Just like God advised them to give careful thoughts to their ways we should do the same.
God uses stress to draw us closer to Him. If you’re familiar with the whole story of the Israelites, time and time again distress fell upon them and they turned to the Lord and He was found by them.
Lastly, God uses stress to strengthen our faith. In 1 Peter 1:7 tell us: “These [trials] have come so that your faith– of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire— may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” For a muscle to grow it needs to go under stress. If a muscle that regularly stresses rarely atrophies. In the same way that our muscles need to be pushed from their usual limits our faith in order to grow also needs to undergo stress.