“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
— Psalm 23:1
On a scale from one to ten (ten being the highest), what is your daily level of stress? Do you cruise through life at level two? Or do you constantly run on all cylinders at level nine? Seventy-five years ago, the only people who used the term “stress” were engineers talking about the physical pressure placed on objects. But now we use the term to express the pressure we feel mentally and emotionally as we live through each day. Many physicians and researchers spend all of their time dealing with stress-related disorders, as hospital beds fill up with businessmen, bricklayers, housewives, and children. There’s no question about it—this is the Age of Anxiety.
But God never intended us to live stress-filled lives. The Bible states that worry is a sin, commanding us to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). Yet we don’t live in line with this command. Instead, we worry and fret about our jobs, our families, our financial status, and everything else under the sun. Many of us don’t know how to cope because we don’t have the internal strength to withstand the pressures from without. Many seek solutions in drugs and alcohol. But God has given us a far more effective tranquilizer: Psalm 23.
This jewel of Scripture can so effectively take away our fears and worries that I commend it as a prescription from the great physician Himself, Jesus Christ. Psalm 23 is God’s tranquilizer. Take it regularly, and you’ll find what the world is desperately looking for and finding: the peace that passes all understanding. Grasping even the first sentence, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,” can do wonders for the human heart.
Author Thomas Carlyle made this astute point, which can reduce our stress: “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” Thus, with God’s help, we should live one day at a time, trusting God to take care of our daily needs.
Do you feel stressed today? Then remember that the Lord is your shepherd who will take care of every concern you have. Turn your worries over to Him today, and allow His peace to guard your heart.