I find the Psalms very therapeutic.
“Stressed Out” might be a better label than “Laments” for the majority of the Psalms.
Part 1: “I’m falling apart down here, God. a. Where are you? b. My friends have deserted me. c. I quit!”
At Grace Place, we’d call that a walk around The Wellness Wheel: a. How’s your life with God? b. How are your relationships? c. How’s the ministry these days?
Part 2: “But…” (and isn’t “but” about the greatest gospel word in the Bible?) “But with you there is grace, hope, healing and renewal.”
Our ministry for you is two simple things:
We help church workers ask, “How AM I doing?” and then we help them find the Lord’s healing touch.
When Life with God, or when Life with Others, or when Life in Ministry gets out of balance, we get wigged out. Stressed.
XL-sized stress calls for XL-sized solutions, like professional counseling, a vocational re-evaluation or a sabbatical.
But for the day to day laments when your train gets derailed, try this.
“But [there’s that word] the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
And Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
Fruitful stress management means welcoming the fruit of the Spirit.
Does God seem far away? Remember that he’s always at work, loving you in every moment no matter how lament-full, and building in you the character of Christ’s own goodness.
Try this. Pause. “Lord, have mercy.” The fruit of the Spirit is love, and goodness, and joy.
Have people disappointed you? Are relationships strained? Remember how God is invested in the unity of your home and church and provides grace to forgive and continue on together.
Try this. Pause. “Lord, have mercy.” The fruit of the Spirit is patience, kindness, peace, and joy.
Is the work of ministry overwhelming you… again? Remember that the Lord Jesus promised every good gift you would need to serve with a servant’s heart, trusting him for success, without sacrificing your health.
Try this. Pause. “Lord, have mercy.” The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and joy.
Jesus warned the disciples that ministry would be stressful, but he promised them that he would always be present with them through his Holy Spirit and with every necessary gift from above.
So don’t forget. That’s “fruitful” stress management.
Or at least, don’t forget for too long. I lament pretty much every day. I forget. I get stressed.
I’m at my best when I pause often enough to take a deep breath, whisper a prayer, and remember that I am a vessel of the Spirit’s gift of joy, and peace and patience.
And remember that we want to help. To start your day with a Grace Place reminder, subscribe to our one-minute daily devotionals. We work around the Wellness Wheel every week with a scripture, a thought, and a prayer.
Thanks for reading. Peace.