And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. (Mark 6:31, NKJV)

A friend is going through a stressful time right now. While dealing with her own health issues, she is also the primary caregiver for another family member. She is stressed and struggling. Sometimes there is no easy solution. Since we don’t live close and I can only offer encouragement from afar, I keep reminding her that self-care is important.

A couple I know is carrying a heavy load in their ministry. They live in a very unstable and dangerous part of the world. Caring for the people they serve and trying to keep everyone safe weighs heavily upon them. Although they realized they needed rest, they felt guilty about taking time away. Then God spoke to them and said, “If you do not come apart, you will fall apart.”

Stress. None of us live without it, but we each face different circumstances. We may experience change (relocation, marriage, employment), loss (death, finances, broken relationships), or uncertainties about the future. Even happy events, such as a wedding, the birth of a child, or moving into a new home, will bring on stress.

How do we cope?

A variety of self-help books offer advice on ways to overcome stress, and many offer valid points. There is merit in managing our time, organizing our finances, and setting priorities. No one will argue with any of that. However, we may be overlooking one of the most important stress-relievers available—going apart to a quiet place with the Lord.

“Come to Me, all you 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.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV)

Recognize that God is with you in this. When He says, “Take my yoke upon you,” He isn’t making your load heavier. He is promising to join you—yoke with you—in carrying your load.

The Lord understands the pressures we feel in life. When He walked this earth, the crowds constantly pressed around Him. Often, He and the disciples had little or no time to eat and refresh themselves. They were surrounded by so many with needs. Yet, we find the Lord would often slip away to be alone and to pray. It was necessary.

When life’s pressures and difficulties weigh you down, pray the Word. A good place to begin is in the Psalms. David knew what it was like to be besieged by trouble, and some of the most encouraging passages can be found in his writings. Personalize Psalm 46 or 121, changing the verses to read “me,’ “my,” and “mine.” Read them again and again, claiming the promises for yourself. Search out other verses that apply to your specific situation.

As you pray these scriptures into your life, let the peace of God enter your soul. You have found your hiding place, your refuge from the storm.

VERSES TO STUDY AND PRAY

Psalm 46 Isaiah 41:9-10
Psalm 55:22 Matthew 11:18-30
Psalm 61:1-3 Romans 8:37-39
Psalm 94:19 II Corinthians 4:7-18
Psalm 121 II Corinthians 12:10
Isaiah 26:3 Ephesians 6:10-18
Isaiah 40:28-31 Hebrews 12:1-3

 

Author

Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

2 Comments

  1. I love all the cross references in the devotionals.

  2. I immediately thought about the song. Shut in with God in a secret place, there in the spirit beholding His face, gaining new power to run in this race, I love to be shut in with God. ❤️❤️❤️😀🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻