Give Thanks In Stress
Open Your Bible
Luke 10:38-42, Isaiah 55:1-3, Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 23:1-3
Text: Luke 10:38-42, Isaiah 55:1-3, Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 23:1-3
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.”
– Luke 10:41-42 ESV
Some days I am undone by the noise of this life. Anxiety and I have a complicated relationship, one I’ve better learned to navigate over the last few years, and I’ve discovered this one of my most common triggers — noise. The noise can be literal or figurative, but most times it’s a combination of the two.
There is the constant chatter, the onslaught of internal and external voices telling us which way to turn. The squeaky wheels that never seem to get enough grease. The to-do list that looms like a towering giant, frowning down on our best efforts. Those dreaded should’s that make us feel we’re not enough at best, defeated and worthless at worst. Perhaps loudest of all, there is the rattling of all life’s pieces not yet in place. We are waiting and we are rushing, all at once.
What do we do in the midst of the noise? Maybe we run faster. Maybe like Martha we buzz around from task to task, stopping for nothing and no one, not even Christ himself.
I can hear Jesus say those gentle words to me. I can hear my name in place of hers: Amanda, Amanda, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.
I hear the call, too, in the Old Testament book of Isaiah: Why do you stress yourself out like this? I have what you need and it’s free! Drink and be truly filled; eat and be deeply satisfied. Your money and toil are no good here. This is my gift to you. (Isaiah 55:1-3, my paraphrase)
I want to dismantle this stress mountain brick by brick, take it apart and hold each piece up to the light of God’s Word. I want to remember there is good in the noisiness of life, gifts to be given and grace to be received. I want to give thanks for the promise that He brings peace to chaos, that redemption awaits, that rest is for those who lie down at His feet like sheep.
I long for the peace of God which transcends understanding to cover me like a blanket so I can rest in Him and give thanks.
You, too? Then let’s pray together:
Lord, make us lie down in green pastures,
Lord, lead us beside still waters,
Lord, restore our souls.
We confess that we choose rush over rest,
we choose busy over best.
We bow down to expectations and worship our lists.
Forgive us, Lord.
You are steadfast. Thank you.
You give us rest. Thank you.
You slow our step and calm our hearts and allow us to sit at your feet.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
We will praise you in the noise,
we will praise you in the stress;
for you remain unchanged,
and we are found in you.