Summary: Big Idea: You can gain a life of rest when you give God the rest of your life.
Finding Rest When You’re Fully Stressed
Do you sometimes feel that life happens too fast and that you are always in a hurry? Do you feel overwhelmed with the demands and pressures of life? Do you feel exhausted? Have you lost your sense of excitement about living every day? Are you discouraged? Are you bombarded by a sense of worry or fear? Do you feel that you are carrying a heavy load and you feel like you can’t take it anymore?
God invites us to experience peace amidst the mess and chaos in our world. God offers us rest amidst our burdened, tired, and exhausted daily lives. Stress is a part of life. The question is NOT “why do we experience stress?” The question is “what do we do when stress happens in our lives?”
We live in a very stressful world.
Stress happens when there are tensions, pressures, threats, or demands, that you feel you are unable to cope with. These tensions, pressures, threats, or demands can come from outside you or from within you. We know we are stressed when we feel anxious, uneasy, tense, fearful or panicky just thinking about unpleasant situations, people or events.
Our body is designed to experience a healthy dose of stress. Stress is our body’s natural or instinctive survival response to cope with physical threat or danger. To cope with emergency situations, the body produces hormones or body fluids that allow us to experience heightened levels of energy, strength, instant reactions, and clear thinking.
However, too much stress causes damage and dysfunction to our body, mind, and spirit. If our stress button is pressed frequently, our body is on almost continuous alert. When our body doesn't have a chance to rest and recover, we can suffer anxiety, depression and health problems. Study shows that constant triggering of our stress buttons can cause the following:
[Source: The Impact of Stress, By Steve Bressert, Ph.D.; http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/the-impact-of-stress/]
Physical signs of stress include:
• sleep disturbance
• digestive upsets
• agitated behavior
• increased heart rate
• general restlessness
• muscle tension
• chest pains
• high blood pressure
• lack of energy
Cognitive signs of stress include:
• mental slowness
• negative attitudes or thoughts
• constant worry
• your mind races at times
• difficulty concentrating
• difficulty thinking in a logical sequence
• the sense that life is overwhelming; you can’t problem-solve
Emotional signs of stress include:
• no sense of humor
• feeling overworked
• feeling overwhelmed
• sense of helplessness
Behavioral signs of stress include:
• decreased contact with family and friends
• poor work relations
• sense of loneliness
• decreased sex drive
• avoiding others and others avoid you because you’re cranky
• failing to set aside times for relaxation
We need to learn how to experience rest. If all we needed was physical rest we can always take a nap. If we needed only emotional rest, we can always take a vacation. But our ultimate need is spiritual rest.