Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Stress Relief!

Summer is often referred to as “The lazy days of summer” suggesting that it is a time of relaxation, vacation, and rest. It is a time just to be leisure, enjoy the weather, read a good book, sit by the pool, and soak in the rays. However, more often than not, summer is a time of hectic schedules, camps, events, company, mosquitoes, severe heat, and yard work. Most of us understand that description much better don’t we? Summer is often a very stressful time for many people. So let me offer you some practical help. I want to offer you a few steps found in scripture for relieving some of your summer stress.

First, to relieve summer stress you must be willing to release your frustrations. Often times what we do with our stress is repress it. We push it deep inside ourselves and try to act like nothing is wrong and that we are in complete control. This is damaging to our spiritual lives, relationships, and emotions. We cannot repress our stress, nor can we rehearse it. We cannot be found going over and over in our minds whatever issue is causing our stress. Rather, we must release it. We need to tell it all to God in detail and let Him take it from us. The Bible says in Psalms 62:8, “Pour out your heart to God, for He is our refuge.”  That means just lay it all out and tell the Lord your issues and release it to Him.   

Second, relieving summer stress is found in choosing to resist all bitterness. Sometimes when we face difficult days we want to victimize ourselves and claim, “This is not fair to me.” The truth is that life is not fair this side of heaven, and we cannot choose or control the circumstances of our lives. However, we can have 100% control over how we react to life’s circumstances. We can choose to live in the Lord’s abundant life or we can choose bitterness. Bitterness poisons all of the relationships in your life. Therefore, you must resist bitterness. We read in Hebrews 12:15 “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you.  It causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” 

Third, to relieve your summer stress you must receive help from others. Pride is often a barrier to this important step. However, God has given us one another to help each other through the difficulties of life. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul tells us, “Encourage each other and give each other strength.” 

Fourth, summer stress is relieved the moment you choose to refocus your life on the Lord. Difficult days of stress can cause the strongest person among us to become distracted from what is really important in our lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When you are stressed to the max let me suggest 3 things you can do to help you refocus. You need to read God’s Word and let it speak truth and hope into your life. You also need to remember God’s goodness in your life and how He has carried you through stressful times in the past. Also, you need to stop relying on your own power and start relying on God’s power. You cannot fix you or your circumstances. However, God can fix both if you will let Him do so.

Finally, to relieve summer stress you need to make it a priority to refuse to give up. It is always too soon to quit. I am reminded of an old hymn that is sung in many evangelical churches that says this, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him. In His presence daily live. I surrender all. I surrender all. All to thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.” Maybe today you might want to try that and see what happens in your life!