I’m a little stressed today (Saturday, October 13). Why? I leave for India in five days and I am sick with a bad chest cough. India is a tough trip when you’re feeling well, but it’s hard to imagine starting off the trip feeling under the weather.

I have a number of talks to prepare for and I haven’t had much time to work on them. My 96-year old mom had to make an emergency visit to the Emergency Room Wednesday night with a broken nose. I have lots of meetings the first two days of next week before I leave, and then my brother comes in on Wednesday, the day before I leave for India. And on top of that, I need to pack. None of this is fun when you’re not feeling well.

Yes, I’m stressed. (By the time you get this post on Friday, October 19, I will be on the plane to India; and by then, I’m hoping I am no longer stressed. All of this will hopefully be behind me.)

I know these things are insignificant in light of eternity. They are not major trials or tests, but just little “pebbles in my shoes.”  They are small irritations that manage to redirect my eyes off the Lord and put my focus on the irritations themselves.

Are these things actually worth getting stressed over? The obvious answer is no. But how do you get past the irritations and stresses and focus on Jesus?

I know in my heart that God is in control. These are insignificant stresses, in light of people fighting cancer, losing a loved one, dealing with financial loss and other tough situations. But how do we overcome these stresses and get our focus back on the Lord and rest in His sovereignty?

When I’m having days like this and feeling anxious or stressed, I need to go to Scripture to get God’s perspective on my life. A passage that always pulls my focus back to the Lord is 1 Peter 5:6-9. Take some time to read and reflect on this passage today.

God does not want us to be anxious, but to entrust all our cares to Him and to rest in His sovereignty.  It sounds easy, but actually doing it can be tough.  I encourage you, as you face anxiety in your life, to “cast it upon Him.”  He cares for you, and He will take care of it. Trust me, I’m “preaching” to myself.

Are you stressed today? Is your life full of little “pebbles” in your shoe that are “irritating” your foot?  Write out what you’re anxious about and why.

Then spend some time in prayer. Hand over each anxious thought to Him. Thank Him that He cares for you.  Thank Him that He will take care of all those “irritations” that are causing you to be anxious.

I’d love to hear from you. How do you handle days you are stressed and anxious?

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