Stress, stress, and more stress. The more people I talk to, the more I hear this in conversation. It’s that time of year again, the semester is almost over. With many friends graduating college and deciding what to do next, with a sister about to graduate high school, and friends preparing to share the Gospel all over the world in India, the UK, Guatemala, Honduras, and elsewhere, life can seem, well… stressful!
I myself feel as if there is too much to accomplish in such a short amount of time. One exam, two research papers, a book review from a book I haven’t even opened yet, another book, a number of reading quizzes, an article review, a Scholar’s Day presentation, and quite a few study guides. All of this, not including 4 final exams, in the next three weeks. Somehow, I’m probably forgetting something and just exactly how I will get all of this done remains a mystery, but in some way I know that it just will, and as someone still trying to keep up a 4.0, it would be nice if I could get this done and done well. Needless to say, this can be described indeed as “stressful.”
But that’s all part of this crazy, hectic thing we call life. While I may be trying to make it through the next couple of weeks without metaphorically pulling my hair out, one thing that I must always remember is that God has a plan for me and I should lay all my anxieties at His feet.
Recently, I have heard many friends share with me all that stresses them about life right now. For those who are graduating, stress can come in trying to find a job or deciding how to pay for grad school. Others may feel uncertain of how to pay for next year’s tuition, while others deal with depression, lack of family support, the loss of a loved one, ongoing health problems, or fears that come with an upcoming missions opportunity. Whatever, it may be, Satan sometimes tries to use all of these obstacles to keep us from focusing on building our relationships with God and others.
This is when we must learn how to give up without giving up. What I mean is that we should lay all of our cares, emotions, desires, anxieties, and wants at the feet of Jesus, and as we do so, He can help us to press on and conquer those challenges. So give up what keeps you from focusing on Christ, but don’t give up on your goals thinking “it” can’t be done.
When we lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus, He can give us strength to “keep on keeping on.”
One thing that I have been praying for recently is that God helps me accomplish all that needs to be accomplished academically, but that it doesn’t keep me from building a relationship with God and with other people. While I strive to achieve all that I can to be academically successful, more than anything, I don’t want it to be an obstacle from growing in Christ and growing with others as we grow together in Christ.
Life can be stressful. Too often, it can beat us up, knock us down, and try to keep us down. But we must try to give up all our worries to Him.
1 Peter 5:6-7 tells us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”
What Christ is telling us is that we can lay all of our challenges at His feet, because He “has our back.” Jesus is telling us, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”
Now, I’m not saying give up as in giving up on our studies, our preparations for our future (whether that’s a job or a mission trip). I’m saying, give up your cares to Jesus, and He will help you to not give up!
The honest truth is that we will face many obstacles, challenges, and trials, and the fear of the unknown can sometimes cause us to have the desire of giving up. But we must trust in Christ and keep on keeping on. We will face trials, but when we walk with God, He can help us overcome those obstacles.
Even when life seems so chaotic, remember what John 16:33 tells us: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
The honest truth is that we will face many trials, but we must lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus and have peace in Him. We will face many challenges, but He has overcome all of that and much more.
So give up your anxieties to Jesus, but don’t give up on this crazy thing we call life!
Holman Christian Standard Bible. Bible Gateway. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
We Fall Down by Chris Tomlin
Give Up by Howard & Vestal Goodman, Michael English, and Lillie Knauls