Monday morning as I grabbed the paper, I checked out the headlines as I walked back to the house. The headline on the front page read, “The Recession is over!!” I would guess that as people across the country read this, few felt their stress lessen, or their worries about our current climate diminish. I have been reflecting on stress and worry and biblically what we are told about it, and how to handle it.
Jesus says this about worry, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they…Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”(Matthew 6:25-26, 34 ESV) We read about worry in 1 Peter, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, TNIV) Yet I would guess often our prayers sound more like this, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, TNIV) So now what? We live lives that will always have reasons that could cause us stress and worry. We are faced with finances, jobs, family, friends, church, and other organizations that ask for our time and resources. Yet we read scriptures verses that say, don’t worry, because God will provide, God will be there for you.
Before we go any further we have to remember one important thing, we are not meant to bear these burdens alone. Throughout scripture we read about the importance of community. We read in Ecclesiastes that, “Two are better than one,“ (Ecclesiastes 4:9, TNIV), Galatians tells us that we are to bear one another’s burdens so that we fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) We see that we are not made to handle those burdens alone, that instead God made us to handle it together, in community. This is part of what the Body of Christ does, bear one another’s burdens, care for each other, and walk with each other through periods of life, to share life together.
So as we walk through life remember, we are not meant to do it alone. Each of us will echo the prayer from Luke, help my unbelief, perhaps more than we would like to admit. But it is in those times we can turn to one another for support. We can find a small group, or accountability partner, or another form of support through Christians we interact with. Stress and worry will always creep into our lives, but we have around us a community of believers to support us in those times of stress, to pray for each other, to encourage one another, and to walk with each other.