“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." —Luke 22:44
You have heard the saying “too blessed to be stressed.” I have always wondered about the truth behind this statement.
Yes, it is good to be blessed and our good should outweigh our bad, but the truth is there is no way to get around stress.
As we look to maintain our homes, marriages, friendships, jobs and churches, stress rises. Then we run after the children to help them in their various activities, getting them here and there. The addition of the elderly family member and ensuring they get to their appointments becomes harder as days pass. Those of you in school can see your stress mounting, as assignments begin to demand more of you.
Understand that not dealing with stress is a danger to your health. It can affect your emotions and make it more difficult to handle the simplest situation. Stress is so demanding on the body that it makes it harder for your immune system to fight even a common cold.
Most importantly, your heart can be affected. Stress releases hormones that cause your heart to beat faster and constrict the blood vessels, which causes your heart to work harder.
One must learn to deal with stress and to do that, one must first acknowledge they are stressed. When you feel yourself becoming frustrated about the simplest things, it is a good sign you are stressed. Dealing with stress can be as simple as counting to 10, taking a deep breath, giving yourself time to relax, sleep and positive self-talk such as “I can do this.”
Jesus Himself had to deal with stress. The Bible says that Jesus was in “agony.” Agony is an intense physical or mental suffering. Stress is mental strain. Jesus was stressed to the point that “His sweat became like drops of blood.” This condition is called hematohidrosis, when blood vessels around sweat glands dilate to the point that they rupture. Blood flows into the sweat glands and leaks out the pores. Jesus was at this rare point of stress.
However, Jesus did something you should add to your list of dealing with difficulties — He prayed.
This is another reason why I am glad that Jesus came down to His Earth and walked around in human form. It just gives a different meaning to that statement “Surely, He knows.” It blesses my soul to know that Jesus is our mediator before the Father and that when we pray in our difficult circumstances, He understands. Jesus, our greatest example, shows us what to do in the hard times in our lives.
Learn to deal with stress before it deals with you.
Harper is a member of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church and the United Ministerial Alliance.