My niece sent me an email about a woman lecturing on stress. She held up a glass of water and asked people to guess the weight. Then she said it didn’t matter how heavy it was now, but that it would feel heavier the longer she held it. If she didn’t set it down, her arm would start to ache, then cramp, then stiffen. She said that is how stress is. We can only carry it around for so long before it weighs us down and becomes a heavy load to bear. Still insist on carrying it and it becomes unbearable. She said we need to occasionally let loose of the stress to give ourselves a rest. We need to set the glass down.
Good advice. It made me think of another way we try to handle stress – we drink the water! We swallow it down thinking it will go away and not be a burden. That may temporarily free up our hands to handle the rest of our lives, but the weight is still inside of us. We will feel bloated, uncomfortable and not ourselves. You get the point.
How much better to pour out our stress at the foot of the cross and hand Christ the empty glass. Easier said than done. But the more we do that and ask Him to refill the glass with Himself in our lives, the less room we will have for the stress water in our glass. He told the parched woman at the well in the midst of the heat of the day that He was the Living Water and those who drank of it would never thirst again. She asked for that water so she’d never have to come back to the well.
How often do we return to the well of stress and dip in our glass? How much stress water are we retaining, either in the glass or inside of us, pretending what can’t be seen by the world will no longer affect us? Pour out your cares to Jesus and let Him replenish it with His peace. Lay your burden down. Let Him carry your load.