Do you ever have one of those days? You know, the ones where the world seems to be crashing all around you, little by little, bit by bit? For some that might involve tests at school, homework, papers and those all important extra-curricular activities. For others, it might be deadlines at work, bosses breathing down your neck or commitments at home, church and elsewhere resulting in the need for you to clone yourself. Still others might find themselves caring for the crying baby, cleaning the house, picking up big brother from school, running him to soccer practice, buying groceries and on and on and on.
No matter where you fall on this continuum, one thing is certain, we all experience stress at times. Some of you are probably unphased by it and actually thrive in stressful situations. Others may want to pull your hair out. Some get grumpy and short with those you love. And some of you may simply shut down.
This week has been particularly stressful for me. It seems like the work is never ending and the list keeps getting longer and longer. The commitments to my family are stronger than ever and my son needs extra attention this week. My wife needs me to stay home with the boy and miss work a few days while she has several appointments to attend to. Summer is just around the corner and there are staff to hire, clothes to order, supplies to purchase, projects to complete, insurance to renew, training to design, taxes to file, and oh yeah, those weekend retreats that want to keep me distracted from the summer prep. It’s all come to a head this week, so much so that I found myself awake at 2:00am the other night tossing and turning, unable to get work off my mind. When 4:00 rolled around and I was still awake, I gave in, got up showered and headed off to work.
As the day trucked along, I must admit that it was a very productive one. I’m one of those that sort of thrives on stress, so it was a good motivator, but this load, this burden if you will, was heavier than normal. It was the kind that made me want to pull my hair out. Luckily, I have no hair, so I didn’t have to physically endure that, but emotionally I had reached that point.
I put in a good effort, marked tons off of my list for the day, but had to shut down the computer and head home with over half of my list still incomplete. Still shaking from the adrenaline that fueled me that day, my mind was racing thinking about all that was yet to be done and how it was going to be a long night again. I kept asking myself how I could get through this week, this month and even how I would get it all done before the summer.
Then it happened. That humbling moment when you realize no matter how much effort you put into something, you’re nothing. That moment when God smacks you in the head with a big ole 2 by 4 and seems to yell “WAKE UP.”
You see, He decided to finish 2 things on my list for me without me having to lift a finger. I had 2 different contacts that I needed to reach out to with different questions as I was lining things up for the summer. Time was running out on these things, but I just couldn’t squeeze it in. Don’t you know that while I was driving home I felt the vibration in my pocket signifying I had received an email. As I reached a stop sign, I check my phone to see that one of those contacts had actually emailed me the answer to my question. The question I had not yet ask. The contact I hadn’t spoken to in 6 months. No big deal, right?
Well, how about this… Not 5 minutes later, phone tucked away in my pocket again, the vibration tingles my leg. Another email. And yet another unsolicited answer to my question that I had yet to ask, from a person I hadn’t spoken to in 7 months.
Coincidence? Maybe. But in that moment, it was like I could hear my Heavenly Father saying “I’m here. You need me, and I’m here.” Ouch! Did I just try to endure an epic-ly stressful day without consulting my Dad?
I’m reminded of a verse:
“Casting all your care on him, for he cares for you.” – I Peter 5:7
Another version actually reads “Casting all your worries…”
Busted. Caught. Guilty. All words to describe my day, my feelings about how I handled my stress. I tried to go it alone. I tried to fix it. I tried to handle it on my own. Not once did I think to lay those burdens down at the feet of my Savior. Thankfully, He chose a very gentle way to remind me of my daily need for Him, even though the day seemed to busy to squeeze Him in.
How about you? Do you try to go it alone sometimes? If so, just remember He’s there for you and “cast your worries on him.” He won’t let you down.