Everyone feels stress of some kind. Some stress is normal. It can move us forward because it takes us out of a passive mode into an active mode in order to accomplish a given task that is waiting on us to show up. However, when the stress we experience is overwhelming and it is pushing us to the brink of sanity then it is time to take a look at what we are doing wrong. I think we need some spiritual Xanax!
I was driving the other day down a road I travel almost daily. It is named Pleasant Hill. I choose to take this road most of the time because it is such a peaceful setting with all the beautiful trees and quiet surroundings. It has no retail or commercial buildings at all. Only houses. Some are on large pieces of land and some built too close to one another for my comfort. As I was enjoying my drive recently I began to think about the different types of attitudes people can have about their lives. They can be all stressed out before the day begins or they can have a calm, peaceful demeanor without even having to work on it.
I am not a particularly high anxiety person. I can get stressed out like anyone else but I try to keep myself grounded in peace as much as possible. But when I feel things closing in on me and anxiety tries to creep in I like to turn to the 23rd Psalm.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows, he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” NLT
I don’t think you can read this Psalm and not feel peaceful. It is full of reassurance that the Lord is with us. He has everything under control. We are safe, protected and He even prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies. It’s a win win situation!
In Isaiah 26:3 we read, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
When we are keeping our focus on Jesus and not our circumstances we can have peace. We do not have to be anxious all the time. We are our own worst enemy. Instead of enjoying the drive we are so full of stress we miss all the good things along the way. We create an environment that is hectic, full of tension mostly because of our own doing. Pull off the side of the road for a bit and rest. Sit in that peaceful meadow and remind yourself of the goodness of God. Allow Him to minister peace to your soul and then leave anxiety on the side of the road.
Take a few doses of your spiritual Xanax daily……..Psalm 23! Remember the Lord is your shepherd and He has everything you need. So is it going to be Peaceful Drive for you or Anxiety Highway?
Living by the brook,