Like potatoes in a pressure cooker, we 21st-century creatures understand the meaning of stress. A week doesn't pass without a few skirmishes that beat up on our fragile frames. They may be as mild as making lunches for our kids before 7:30 in the morning (mild?) or as severe as a collision with another car...or another person. Makes no difference. The result is "trauma." You know, the bottom-line reason Valium remains the top seller.
The late Joe Bayly, insightful Christian writer and columnist, certainly understood trauma. He and his wife lost three of their children: one at 18 days (after surgery); another at five years (leukemia); a third at 18 years (sledging accident plus hemophilia). In my wildest imagination, I cannot fathom the depth of their loss. In the backwash of such deep trauma, Joe and his wife stood sometimes strong, sometimes weak, as they watched God place a period before the end of the sentence on three of their children's lives. And their anguish was not relieved when well-meaning people offered shallow, simple answers amidst their grief.
H. L. Mencken must have had such situations in mind when he wrote: "There's always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong."
Eyes that read these words might very well be near tears. You are trying to cope without hope, and there's no relief on the horizon. You're bleeding and you've run out of bandages. You have moved from mild tension to advanced trauma.
Listen carefully! Jesus Christ opens the gate, gently looks at you, and says: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are...overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls]" (Matthew 11:28 Amplified).
Nothing complicated. No big fanfare, no trip to Mecca, no hypnotic trance, no fee, no special password. Just come. Meaning? Unload. Unhook the pack and drop it in His lap...now. Does He know what trauma is all about? Remember, He's the One whose sweat became like drops of blood in the agony of Gethsemane. If anybody understands trauma, He does. Completely.
He's a Master at turning devastation into restoration. His provision is profound, attainable, and right.
Allow Him to take your stress as you take His rest.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.