Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2022 Blog #23
June 13, 2022
Christian Stress Relievers
Life is stressful for many of us. Inflation is roaring like we have not seen in forty years. COVID illnesses and deaths are declining but the plague is not yet over. There are still new cases, and new deaths, being reported. It is better but not over yet. Of course, the rising gas prices have caused stress to everyone. Not since the 1970’s have I seen some much stress over gasoline. People younger than me don’t remember that gas crisis. They think that this is the first time we have struggled with gas prices and supply. What bothers me most about gas prices, and inflation in general, is that these prices hurt some people more than others. Yes, we all suffer from these price increases, but people with less surplus money are hurt even more.
People are more stressed now than they have been for a long time. It began with COVID, and has increased with inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On social media I have seen countless ads for online therapy. Dr. Pam tells me that there is a waiting list of clients wishing to seek therapy. Most of the new clients share one diagnosis, “anxiety disorder.” Like COVID, it is becoming an epidemic.
So how do we in the faith community deal with stress? I believe that we in the faith community deal with it better than people of the world. We have a reservoir of faith and Holy Spirit that gives us comfort and a longer view of life than most people possess. We have something to teach the world about stress management.
Our faith tells us that God will ultimately win. People who do not know this are unsure of what the final outcome will be.
We know how to pray and find a peace and joy that worldly people don’t know. We have a job to do here; teach others to pray.
We engage in acts of charity. This reminds us that many people have lives more difficult than ours. Our lives are grace-filled. That is something to keep reminding ourselves of.
We worship together. Our singing puts us into God’s presence and a distances away from our troubles. It also puts us in touch with Christ’s peace and joy.
We hear from the Bible; God’s Love Letter to us. Hearing the old Bible stories remind us how God has led faithful people through difficult times for thousands of years and that assures us that God will get us through these times as well. That gives us hope.
Our devotion gives us tools to relieve stress. Let us practice with these tools well. We can do our neighbors a favor by teaching them how to use these tools also. It all begins with prayer and worship.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/