Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nailed to the cross, Part II

We're focusing our thoughts this week on a verse from the New Testament; we'll be back to Proverbs next week. We're talking about stress, worry, anxieties, and gray hair.
Seriously, here is our verse:
Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:7
Not to go too far down a rabbit trail, but we live today in an extremely fast-paced world, no? Yes.

You can be driving down the interstate just a smidge over the speed limit, trying to get to your destination on time, and a car or truck will blow by you like you are standing still!
We have UPS and FedX and other companies who scurry around getting packages to somewhere very, very quickly, and we all know of kids that want to grow up even more quickly!
We must be careful when we grocery shop, for we may collide with someone who is in a big hurry to collect their purchases and scamper home, and we must be careful at the gas station or we may bump into (literally) someone who is anxious to fill and go as fast as humanly possible!
Meals must be prepared, and then eaten, in a hurry. It seems that everyone and everything is rushing, hurrying, scurrying....
Did you know that our bodies respond to stress in many ways? Every system in our body (heart and blood vessels, immune system, lungs, brain, sensory organs) are "at the ready" for the perceived need. Keeping our bodies at such a fever pitch can have long-lasting effects . . .
Do we approach our worship and prayer time with our Father in the same rushed way that we do other situations in our lives? That's an important question -- maybe we should pause to consider that before we go any further?

What advice does the Word give for stress?
Do you recall the words of an old hymn, "What a Friend we have in Jesus"? 
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

There is a boatload of good theology in that hymn:
No matter what our problem is, we have a high priest that understands our weaknesses:
Heb. 4:14-16, "14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Not only that, but our God can solve our hardest problems:
Matt. 19:26, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
And why is it that we carry our burdens so long? In the words of the hymn, "what peace we often forfeit" by not turning them over to Him:
Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
We'll continue with our study tomorrow. I hope you'll join me again.


Cathy said...

WE seem to live in an age where we think we can have perfect lives. Where we can be and do everything. That we can have "quality rather than quantity". Those of us who came to maturity in the 70's, I am one of those, bought into the thought that we can have careers, homes, husbands, children, friends and church, and that we will be able to juggle it all, and do it all perfectly. And we, I, thought we could do it all on our own..... no help needed, and certainly none needed from Mom and Dad, who were behind the times, and didn't know anything anyway. And at that time, I for one, did not know the Lord and his ability to bear our burdens. No wonder the results of all this are a more or less permanent state of living with stress. And the even sadder thing is watching my daughter starting to juggle the same maddening pace. But she, at least, knows the Lord, and asks Mom and Dad for help.

CATachresis said...

That hymn reminds me of when I was a child of eight and was sent away from my family for six weeks to Switzerland to recuperate after illness. "What a friend we have in Jesus" was a hymn we sang alot while I was there. The words became very precious as I struggled with terrible homesickness.

Fast pace living is something I used to do, but now circumstances are such that I have been forced to slow down. Although the reason for the slow down is not nice, the result of the slow down means I have more time for the soul. The Lord moves in mysterious ways! x