Stress; April 23, 2023

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.

This verse has been beautifully set to music, and it is essentially quoted by Peter: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) The Psalm as a whole is an interesting one, obviously written after David was king in Jerusalem, surrounded by luxury but beset by duplicitous men to the point that the life of a dove in the desert looks attractive to him (vv. 7-8) He was essentially stressed out, just as we get sometimes. The answer, for David and for us, is trusting God enough to release things to Him. Frankly, that’s often easier said than done! A particular Japanese word, used both here and in 1 Peter, is very interesting. It is most often translated as “worry,” but that would make it inappropriate when applied to God. It is literally, “distribute the heart.” The same characters, read differently, indicate kindly concern. In other words, if applied to someone else, it’s a good thing, but applied to yourself, it can be destructive. That is true indeed! David was stressed out and anxious, but he knew the solution, as he states here. His conclusion to the Psalm, in the very last line, is one we all need to declare to God: “But as for me, I trust in You.”

I’m not what psychologists would call an “anxious personality,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t stress out at times. This week is completely packed, with something big and/or out of the ordinary every day. Thinking about it ahead of time definitely tends toward stress, so I’ve got to be active in my trust. Any one of the things coming up would not be such a big deal by itself, but the aggregate is daunting. That’s why I need to take one day at a time, just as the song says. I have experienced God’s guidance and support countless times, so I know from experience that He can get me through this with no problems. I’ve just got to rest, relax, and rejoice, as He has told me to do. Other people are involved in every one of the upcoming events, and I need to be available to God as His instrument of blessing to each one. If I’m focused on me and my stress, that won’t happen. The Lord is indicating that my work will change greatly in about a year, but I don’t know how. I need to approach this week as training to prepare me for how the Lord wants to use me for His glory.

Father, thank You for all that You are doing, and for including me in some of it. Help me not try to run away from any of it. I certainly have that impulse at times, just as David did. Help me be fully present all the time, allowing You to pour Your strength through my weakness, accomplishing Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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