There are moments where the phrase “too blessed to be stressed” couldn’t be further from the truth for me. I’m not sure where the phrase came from, however, I do agree that it is appealing to the ear and the concept sounds good.
But what do you do when the blessing from God is weighty? What do you do when His blessings are so overwhelming and you don’t feel like you have the strength to carry them? What do you do you when what God has given you appears to be a blessing on the outside to onlookers, but is secretly a burden to you mentally and physically? Are you still too blessed to be stressed? Do you feel guilty about feeling stressed when you have a blessing before you?
Stress is a physical and psychological response to various stimuli in our environment. Our psychosomatic response has three options; fight, flight, or freeze. How many times when we get what we have been praying for do we fight against it because we can’t handle it; or do we run away from the call and the blessing because it becomes too overwhelming; or do we simply freeze. And I’m not talking about a ‘be still and know that I am God’ moment. I am talking about freezing to the point where you cannot do anything. It’s almost like you are paralysed because of how overwhelming the task is.
When work is draining but you feel the tension of being grateful to have a job. When your kids are demanding or your family seems to be falling apart, but you feel the tension of being grateful for them. When you’ve experienced a great loss, but you feel the tension of being grateful for life. When you’ve experienced heartbreak, when abuse is present, when you’re the victim of prejudice and discrimination but amidst all these things you feel the tension of knowing that someone else has it worse than you. The list is endless. Are you still too blessed to be stressed in these moments?
Why do Christians struggle to accept that while we are spiritual beings we live in VERY human vessels. Vessels that will experience stress and can’t always soldier through extreme situations. When will we stop hiding behind the phrase “too blessed to be stressed” and acknowledge that sometimes in the blessing there is stressing. How great would it be to have fellowships and Christian communities where people felt safe to acknowledge their struggles with stress and seek the help that they need.
Jesus’ response to stress…
In this Easter season we all revisited the scriptures where Jesus was overwhelmed with the task that He sacrificially agreed to by saying, ‘here I am Lord, send me’ (Isaiah 6:8). Our same Saviour Jesus, who said here I am Lord send me, also said ‘Lord, if it is in your will, take this cup from me yet not my will but yours’ (Luke 22:42). Jesus experienced that same tension between being a blessing — the Saviour, yet experiencing great pain, and the stress of self-denial.
Our response to stress should be His response:
- Acknowledge that you are stressed, burdened, weary or overwhelmed. It is not a sign of being ungrateful, immature or incapable; rather it is a sign of your humanity. The same humanity that Jesus shared in, our High Priest who is able to sympathise with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-16).
- On the surface you can pray for strength, but on a deeper level, you will pray for God’s will to be done. It is a prayer that often gets played down due to its incognisant overuse. When you pray for God’s will, you are ultimately surrendering your will. In moments of stress, praying for God’s will means surrendering what your idea of strength and help looks like.
- Seek help. Instead of insisting that you are ‘too blessed to be stressed’, speak to God and others about how you feel. Do not brush over your feelings for the sake of appearing super-spiritual. God is not alarmed or offended by your feelings. Let us not hold ourselves to the standard of faux-spiritual perfection, when Abba holds us to the standard of His everlasting Grace.
If you have experienced periods of extreme low moods, inability to function adequately, withdrawal from your regular activities, please speak to a trained specialist (your General Practitioner [GP] is a good start). Stress that is not dealt with can often lead to depression, abnormal blood pressure and other somatic problems.
There is no shame in admitting your struggles with stress even in the midst of feeling blessed. I’ll leave you with this beautiful word that God dropped in my heart this morning; ‘My Love will cover what you expose’.