Summary: We cannot avoid stress, but we with the Lords help we can survive it.
AVOIDING LIFES CLIFFS SURVIVING STRESS Luke 10:38-42 The key to surviving stress is to refocus your on Gods purpose for your life.
ILLUSTRATION: A woman took her husband to the doctor’s office. After his checkup, the doctor said, "Your husband is suffering from a very serious infection."
The husband, who was hard of hearing said, "What did he say?"
His wife said, "He says your sick".
The doctor went on. "But there is hope.
You just need to reduce his stress.
Each morning, give him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant, nice, and kind. For lunch and dinner make him his favorite meal. Don’t discuss your problems with him, it will only make his stress worse. Don’t yell at him or argue with him. And most importantly...just cater to your husband’s every whim.
On the drive home, the husband asked his wife what the doctor said
She replied, You’re going to die.
Everyone understands stress. I was originally going to entitle this message, Overcoming Stress, or Avoiding Stress. However, that is a misconception.
No one can avoid stress. It is all around us. We deal with it every-day.
There is much in this world we get stressed over. There is the ever worsening economy. Each day the gas prices go up, we wonder how long it will be before our country experiences another ‘Great Recession”
Then there is the ever growing conflicts in the middle east. How long will the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Isreal and now Mali last?
Then every night we turn on the TV news and another murder has taken place and we wonder if the next one will be closer to home.
Nevertheless, it is not these events which cause you to stay up at night. I am sure if you have trouble sleeping it is not because you were worried about Chief Theresa Spence, or the teachers struggle, or what is happening in Japan.
No, if you are feeling stressed, it is due to the ever increasing amount of STUFF that life is placing on your shoulders.
Stress is a part of life. You cannot avoid it and try as you might you cannot deny it. The only reason you are not stressed is because you might be DEAD!
Stress is what holds the world and universe together. Stress is a necessary part of life.
However, it is when we take on so much ourselves that we get to the point of either IMPLODING and running from God and ,life, or like Martha we EXPLODE and rant and blame God for the troubles of your life.
I am glad that the Word of God is not silent concering this very real expereince we all face. The Bible gives us many examples of men and women of faith you lived with stress. Some handled it in a way that strengthened them. Others sadly responded to stress by running from God.
In our scripture today, we have an example of a person who experienced stress and we see how Jesus gave her a word to be able to handle it.
Lets look at it together.
Stress is a part of life. You cannot avoid stress but you can survive it. I am glad the Bible is not silent on this common human experience. The Bible also gives us examples how we can face and survive the stresses of life.
One such example is found in the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42. Lets read this familiar story together.
Mary and Martha, along with their brother Lazarus were friends and supporters of Jesus and his ministry. They lived in the tiny village of Bethany which was a few miles from Jerusalem.
Luke tells us that one day following and incredibly busy season of ministry, ‘As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. ‘
When Jesus and His disicples enter the village, Martha welcomes him into her home as her guest, Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
This is an unusual scene, as in first century culture Jewish teachers did not allow women to sit at their feet. What Jesus does is highly unusual. He is the guest of a woman in her home and he teaches a woman. This is an encouragement to every woman that Jesus cares and enables all to be His followers. He is interested in everyone men and women.
This is also a reminder for the men that you and I are not excluded from ministry from and to Jesus. There are times when we need to set our lives aside and simply spend time with the Lord, praying, meditating on His word, and getting refreshed for the next season of service.