Keeping a Calm Soul on a Stressful Day

Dr. Marc Drake, Sr. Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes

The story is told of a guy who had the job of transporting items for others in a small truck. One day, he was hired to transport some chickens. A man in a car following his truck noticed something very unusual: Every mile or so, the truck driver would pull over, get out, and pound the side of the truck with a baseball bat. Finally, the man in the car could contain his curiosity no longer. So, he stopped the guy and asked him why he was beating the side of the truck with a bat. The driver replied, “I’ve got a half-ton truck and a ton of chickens. I’ve got to keep half of them flying at all times!”

Do you ever feel that way—as though you are constantly beating your truck with a bat so half the chickens will stay in the air? It does seem that life is rarely stress-free. And that can be especially true during the Christmas season—certainly a joyous time, but also one in which pressures can increase. One pastor has written that when he begins to feel the weight of stress, he takes a step back to evaluate what is causing it. He acknowledges that perhaps he is not the one who should be managing those pressures at all. So, he determines to separate the pressures only he can handle from the ones that others can and should be handling. Obviously, if we try to take care of everything, we won’t be able to do anything very well, and we will remain stressed out.

King David discovered this principle long before the aforementioned pastor did. In Psalm 131 he says, “Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too wondrous for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like a weaned child” (vv.1-2). Then, in v.3 of this short psalm, David says, “Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forever.” Yes, God Himself is our hope. We can wait trustingly before Him and, in the process, find rest and refreshment for our souls and bodies. I think you’ll agree: This is far better than having to beat your truck with a bat to keep half the chickens in the air!

Enjoy the fast-approaching Christmas season. Avoid the pressures and distractions as much as possible, and stay focused on the Savior who came to offer forgiveness and eternal life. He is infinitely worthy of our deepest love and highest praise!