If you run your own business or have a high-powered job and have a family whether the children are younger or older, stress has a way of sabotaging you. I get it. I run two businesses and deal with 5 children in their twenties and of course have a wife. There are days I am looking for the exit door. Yet I know that Jesus calls us to peace and not to fear and not to worry. Maybe He was talking about a different time when things did not move so quickly?
I don’t think so. I think it all boils down to two principles:
- Learning how to WAIT.
- Learning how to release the stress.
1. Waiting. Ever been any good at it? When someone says they will get back to you, do you try to contact before they do? If you wife says that she is handling something, do you ask her the next day how is she doing? When your kids say that they will pay you back, do you bug them about it? Heh, I could go on and on and on. We are a generation of immediate gratification and immediate results. It is no wonder that we have a problem with waiting, particularly if we are the type of person that is sure to get things done ahead of time and arrives fifteen minutes early for everything. For us waiting cause an enormous amount of stress. Yet waiting is a virtue.
I have a great friend who was a career military and achieve a very high rank. He was motivated, driven and expected a lot from everyone under him and got it. This type of personality is normally very successful. He was also an atheist. His wife was a Christian who prayed for him every day of the 27 years his was in the military and an atheist. He came to the Lord shortly after retiring. I have told him many times that his wife was a saint to wait all that time for him.
Greg Boyle in his book “Tattoos of the heart” tells numerous stories of “homies” coming humbly to him for help years after he first met them. He learned that waiting was part of the game. In fact he writes, “Ours is God who waits. Who are we not to? It takes what it takes for the great turnaround. Wait for it.”
Waiting is what God does for us on so many levels and He asks us to get used to it. Understanding that is the first step to obeying His command to have peace in everything and be thankful for everything.
2. Relieving Stress. Even with this understanding it might be helpful to know a technique to relieve stress. What was the first utterance of Jesus? It was not a word, but a sound, a cry.
The cry of a baby demands an examination of the situation by the parents and their provision of what is needed. A cry is a proclamation of helplessness, dependence, trust and need, the recognition that “I cannot.” If Jesus would acknowledge His existence in such a way, then should we not also? When we cry, we are heard by the same Father in heaven who heard Him.
Guys stick with me on this. Most men had fathers like mine that said, “Men don’t cry!” That was one of the great lies of that generation that has caused many men under stress or hurt or pain to stuff it and has probably caused more health related problems for men than I could list. Women don’t have that message or problem.
Several years ago a chemical was discovered in the brain of anxiety-ridden people. For years chemists have attempted to neutralize the chemical in hopes of bringing relief to the suffering. To date, no medication has proven effective. However, if the tears of the afflicted are analyzed, one will find the anxiety-causing chemical being released. Tears acknowledge the true condition within that we cannot always see or express.
We were not created to be God but to need God. Trying to fulfill a job description for which we are not created causes anxiety! Stress is a message from God and tears are proof that we have begun to give up on playing God. It is pride that keeps us from crying out and therefore keeps us in misery.
Just as parents do not always pander to a child’s every cry, the Lord does not always intervene immediately to relieve our sources of misery; but as we acknowledge, “Apart from You I can do nothing.” Even though we are going to have to accept God’s concept of WAITING, the Great “I CAN” will eventually move in.
What is the message you are communicating to your children about stress? What is the legacy that you want to leave behind related to stress?
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.