I don’t know about you, but I find travel exhausting. My fifth grade teacher is to blame. She told me, “There’s a bus leaving in five minutes. Be under it.”A few years ago I was stressed out. My youngest said, “Dad, you don’t laugh so good anymore.” Few things suck laughter from our lives faster than a speeded-up life, with the possible exception of the words “root canal” or “Hi, I’m your proctologist.”
Are you stressed? Try laughter. It’s great medication for the frazzled. Laughter is good for us, but you know, it’s not enough to provide deep healing and recovery. When stress had me by the throat, a simple truth helped bring my joy back. My value is not based on my performance. Let’s be honest: The number one cause of stress is trying to impress others. For years I worked long hours thinking, “If I can just acquire or achieve, then I’ll be valuable. If I can just get to the next level, people will be impressed. I’ll be set.” I achieved much, but folks never seemed impressed enough. I earned much, but I was never set.
Celebrating three truths can bring peace to your day:
1. God loves me. 1 Peter 5:7 invites us to “cast all our anxieties on him for he cares for us.” I’ve been guilty of working hard to impress God and others. God’s love and grace remind me that I’m valued just as I am. I find I’m no longer working hard to impress others or doing things out of guilt, fear, or shame, but out of thanksgiving.
2. God forgives us. Wanna de-stress? Remember Psalm 103, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Woah. It’s liberating. Ephesians 2 says, God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
3. God provides for us. Philippians 4:19 says, “God will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Jesus.” God loves, forgives and provides. So let’s do what we do out of gratitude, and soon we’ll be traveling light, not fried or frantic, but fulfilled and free to laugh again.
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