Introduction and Alignment
Stress gets to all of us at times. Itâ€™s everywhere. We stress about our finances, we stress over our jobs or potential jobs, we stress over unaccomplished tasks on our to-do lists, we even stress over the little things like our Internet connection, and of course, we stress over getting our assignments completed. Things tend to come at us from all directions, each one requiring all our focus and ability. There are all sorts of things that weigh our thoughts, burdening us and build to us becoming overwhelmed.
We have all been there, when just thinking about all of the things that need to get done just seems impossible!
The thing about stress is that when it has its grip on us, we never react or perform as well as we would in a sharpened, worried-free alert state. Stress affects our emotions, physical health, pride, performance, and even our self-image. Stress attacks our body, our mind, and even our soul! Of all the detrimental things that stress does in our lives, the worst is how it affects our relationship to God.
God created time and equipped us each with special gifts to be used for His glory and for the benefit of those around us. He provides us everything we need to do the work He has called us to do. He expects us to work hard, rest from our labors, and serve others sacrificially, not simply when it is convenient. He gave us Jesus, God in human flesh, as a model of servanthood and the Holy Spirit to supply us with the power, wisdom, love, and grace we need each day to fulfill Godâ€™s plan and purpose for our lives.
Look at the passage Matthew 6:26-34. This message talks about God caring for even the smallest animals. If He looks after them, we know He will take care of us. God loves each of us, His children, even more than the animals. He will always take care of you. Take a moment and look back on your life. Isnâ€™t this true? He has brought you to the place you are today. You have means to be in school, support people in your life, a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear.
God asks us to take a childlike attitude when it comes to trusting Him with our burdens and daily life. Remember what it was like as a child? For most of us, our parents could fix anything in our eyes. If we scraped a knee or had a boo-boo, our parent would kiss it, put a bandage on it, and it would be â€œall better.â€ God asks us to take that same attitude with Him. Let Him deal with everything. He is more than capable, and more than prepared to deal with anything that can stress us. And though sometimes it seems that He is taking His time or not dealing with it, when we look back, we can always see His guiding hands working through the problem, and always differently than we would expect Him to.
Seeing the way God takes care of the big things in our lives allows us to trust him to take care of the little things, too. This week then, letâ€™s hand over each burden and stressâ€”no matter what it isâ€”as it comes and let God be God in our lives! As you make your own to-do list today or this week, ask God for wisdom to know not only what you need to do, but also how to balance everything you need to accomplish. Ask Him for the grace and patience to work diligently, not so you can check everything off your list, but rather to show the world what a great God you serve. Let your achievements be for His glory, not your own.
Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:
- Implement ethical, Christ-like attitudes, values, and worldview appropriate to context. (PO 1)
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.Psalm 68:19
â€œLook at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. â€¦ So do not worry, saying, â€˜What shall we eat?â€™ or â€˜What shall we drink?â€™ or â€˜What shall we wear?â€™ â€¦ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.â€Matthew 6:26-34
â€œFor I know the plans I have for you,â€ declares the Lord, â€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.â€Jeremiah 29:11
- After reviewing the Introduction and Background sections for this activity, navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following discussion questions:
- Think back over your life course, then provide an example of how God guided you and cared for you. Knowing that He has provided with the larger burdens in your life, why is it so difficult to allow Him to be in control of the smaller day-to-day stressors in our lives?
- Many of us will be working in secular settings, therefore, not allowing us to openly discuss God being in control. How can we implement these concepts into our work with groups and families?
- Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.
- Read and respond to at least two of your classmatesâ€™ postings by the end of the workshop.
- Your postings should also: