The Bible as a stress-reliever

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By Jessica Brodie

You know the drill—you’ve got a million things to do, you’re overwhelmed, you’re so tired you don’t want to get out of bed, yet you know if you don’t, nothing will get done. You’ve got to take the kids to school, slog through morning traffic, get to your job, get as much done as you can, slog through more traffic to pick up your kids, make dinner, be “present”… oh, yeah, and get seven to nine hours of quality sleep. And your spouse is just as busy as you are. There’s no relief in sight—it’s just how it is right now.

The pressure, the stress, can be debilitating. So what do we do? We can make master to-do lists, we can eliminate nonessentials from our life, we can muddle through the best we can…

But there’s another thing we can do, something that on the surface seems like it might take even more time out of our busy lives. That “something” is reading the Bible, ideally right at the start of your day.

“How can I make time for reading the Bible? I don’t even have time to shower some days!” you might protest.

Make time—trust me. I’ve found that carving out time to do this makes everything else fall into place. I don’t mean you have to sit down for two hours and do a full-fledged Bible study, but read a chapter. Soak in a psalm. Spend some time, as much as you feel you can allot, in the Word of God.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the first thing you do in the morning after you get out of bed or as soon as you’ve gotten to your destination, but as soon as possible, open up your Bible and jump in. Before you check email, chat with friends, hop on the phone, or get on social media, just read a chapter. If you can read more than a chapter great, but just do it.

Here’s why: Making time to read the Bible does some pretty important things to the overwhelmed and stressed among us (um, perhaps everybody?).

1) When we turn to God first like this, it’s an act of dependence and surrender. It’s basically saying, “God, we cannot do this on our own and we need you to lead us and give us guidance for today.”

2) It’s also an act of faith. It’s knowing that no matter what, God has the answer. We don’t know how and we don’t know why, for we don’t have eyes big enough to see the whole situation like God does. But by effectively staking our claim with our Creator, who can do all things, we cast our hopes in Him.

3) It’s also a way of prioritizing what really matters. When we put God first like this, it crystallizes everything else, pares everything down to what is truly and critically most important.

Try it. You’ll see what I mean. You’ll go from frazzled to peaceful just like that.

At the very least, you will know one of the most important and comforting truths in life: you are not alone. You are never alone.

God is by your side. All you have to do is turn to Him.

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