Famed news commentator, Paul Harvey, once reported about a man in India who was 120 years old.  Over the years the guy accumulated 23 wives, but he could remember the names of only 16 of them. 

And I thought my life was stressful!

What about yours?  At the end of the day, do you feel like there is more to do, but less of you to do it? 

Jesus wrestled with the same tension but seemed to be able to successfully manage it.  He offered to teach us to do it too.

He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me…”  Matthew 11:28-29   Here’s a few things He passed on.

– Jesus rested.

         A storm overwhelmed the disciples and threatened to swamp the boat.  The services of Jesus seemed to be desperately needed and yet we read, “He was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.”  (Mark 4:38)

Jesus slept when He needed to sleep regardless of what was going on.  A good sleep each night and a day off from work every week will refresh us too.   

– Jesus dined

         The Pharisees accused Him of being a glutton. (Luke 7:34) An exaggerated charge to be sure, but it tells us that Jesus enjoyed food.   A car without gas won’t be going far.  Get something to eat.

– Jesus charged His batteries.

He had just healed a man on the Sabbath.  Jesus’ critics “were filled with mindless rage and began debating with one another what they would do to Jesus.”  (Luke 6:11)   

This is how He responded, “Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God.”  (6:12) As His troubles got bigger, Jesus went deeper.  He prayed. 

– Jesus identified His priorities.

         Some of us are torn in a hundred directions but Jesus knew what his mission was, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) That was the magnetic north that gave Him direction

                  We would be wise to identity our priorities.  Your spouse and children are primary.  Your job and your service to the Lord are too.  Cover them well.   If you want to, and have the time and energy left- feel free to take on more.

– Jesus said no when needed

He had put in a 16-hour day of ministry in Capernaum.  He then withdrew for a night of prayer.  In the morning, the town’s people found Him and pressed Him to return and resume His healing.  He replied “Let us go elsewhere, into the surrounding villages, so that I can preach there too. For that is what I came out here to do.”  (Mark 1:38)

                  He said, “No” to them.  He would not allow His preaching to be swallowed up by His healing ministry.   Once we have identified our priorities, we then have the freedom to lovingly say no to those things that are not.

– Jesus asked for help.  – Matt. 26:36-38

         At Gethsemane, Jesus asked Peter, James and John to remain awake and pray with Him as He approached the time of His betrayal.  He asked for help.  Sometimes, we are stressed because we have chosen to go it alone.  Those that do forfeit the support and wisdom and companionship that others bring.

I grew up where the streets were often coated in white in the winter.  When stuck in a rut, my teenage impulse was to put the pedal to the metal.  My wheels were spinning but I wasn’t moving.  Then I got smarter, I learned to accelerate slowly.  The tires found traction and I was set free.    

You may be stuck in a spiral of stress.  If so, accelerate a little more slowly.  Take time to rest and eat and pray and reflect on your priorities and even ask for help!  You’ll reduce the stress and find the traction you need.

A PRAYER: Thank you for the lesson, Lord.  Help me to live it.

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com   

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Scripture from the NETBible ®