So this past Sunday Liz and I went back to the church that we had discovered the previous week, Huwei Baptist. The people there could not have been more excited to see us, and made us feel so welcome yet again. The message was on relieving our stress through faith in God. I will attempt to summarize the translation a few nice folks gave us during the service.
Everyone experiences stress at some point, either daily (most people) or more seldom (the lucky few.) Whether it’s friendships, marriages, children, our careers, or maybe our safety, (some people actually have to worry about whether they will LIVE another day. Think about that for just a moment.) stress affects us all. It can cause unhappiness, anxiety, and even sickness. What can we possibly do about our stress? WE can’t do anything, until we give it up to God.
First, we need to recognize it. Stress is common in our lives. Certain people have things that just get on their nerves, or things they have to deal with on a regular basis. This is where we need to ask God to change our thoughts, values, and even our lives.
What if we focused on the well being of others instead of ourselves? What if we cared more about their needs than our own? Galatians 6:2 says “Help to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” In Luke 6:38 Jesus says “Give to others, and God will give to you…The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.”
We can also focus not on ourselves, but Jesus. We can remind ourselves just how much he cares for us. 1 Peter 5:7 says “Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” No problem is too big for him to handle. He wants us to unload our stress and worry onto him.
While Liz and I were looking for this job, and deciding where to move, we tried to pray everyday for God to put us exactly where he wanted us, and for us to trust in His plan. Making the decision of where to move became stressful for us, so praying that prayer really helped us through it. We really feel God’s hand in where we ended up. Whether it’s coworkers who seem to be interested in learning more about Jesus, or the wonderful church family that we have become a part of, God has shown us time and again how perfect his plans are, and how good he is.
The church members have really embodied the “caring for others more than yourselves” part. They asked how we were getting around, and loaned me a bicycle for as long as I need it. We asked them where to find cheap furniture for sale, and they kindly offered to take us by one of their apartments to pick out whatever we needed to borrow. They treated us to dinner Sunday evening, and have really showed us God’s love through all of their generosity.
The next time you feel stressed, or like you are dealing with more than you can bear, remember your Father above; talk to Him about it. He is waiting on you.