This past Sunday I gave a message on how to deal with stress while trying to life a great life. I honestly don’t believe we can get rid of stress. It’s all around us. And when I look at Jesus’ life during his ministry, I realize that he dealt with a lot of stress.
He was so famous that wherever he went people flocked to him in hopes to hear him speak or be healed by him. Many times he found himself surrounded by crowds, with little chance to escape. He had 12 young men who left their jobs and families to follow him. I imagine he must have taken on a sense of responsibility for caring for them as well. He often found himself in confrontations with the same religious leaders who were always plotting to kill him.
But to me the most stressful thing Jesus had to face would be living with the knowledge that he was going to experience the most brutal death known to man. Imagine trying to enjoy your life meanwhile in the back of your mind you know what’s coming.
This week is recognized as Holy Week. For many of us it is a good week. We prepare Easter baskets for our kids and color eggs with them. Hopefully, we remember what Jesus went through on the cross and even more what happened three days later. But what we might not consider is what Holy Week was like for Jesus. For him, it must have been the most stressful week of his life. The Bible tells us that the night before Jesus was arrested he was so stressed that he sweat blood, literally. In a garden while alone, he share his deepest anxiety to his Heavenly Father about what was about to happen. I would imagine this must have been the most stressful time in his life. He wanted to quit. Thankfully, he didn’t.
This week, I feel extremely stressed. It’s funny how pastors often struggle with the very thing they preached about the weekend before. I am trying to lead our church through a major capital campaign with a huge renovation project on the heels, make some tough but necessary leadership decisions and prepare for Easter. This coming weekend is an opportunity for churches all around the world to reach new people. As stressful as this week gets for many of us, it is nothing compared to Jesus’ Holy Week. So when you begin to feel stressed and even start to feel sorry for yourself, try putting yourself in Jesus’ shoes during his last week and it might give you a different perspective.