Jesus experienced stress and fatigue in his earthly life. Before his passions, he was tortured by stress to the maximum. Luke describes in his gospel how the great stress had caused him to sweat in blood. His body was purely human and he felt everything at least as intensely as we would. He had the sufferings and anxieties. He was not ready to call forth the legions of angels to protect himself from such anxieties that caused him great stress.
Why are we stressed?
The amount of work that we do causes stress in us. If our work is under pressure it increases our stress. The environment and the attitude of people around us create stress in us. Many times our relationship with colleagues becomes strained and we feel we cannot cope with them anymore. We find our bodies reacting with stress and tension. We experience headaches or upset stomachs.
Did Jesus experience stress?
Jesus, as a human being, should have experienced the symptoms shown above that are normal to stressed people. Some may argue that since Jesus was sinless he would not have suffered any stress or pain. But the fact is, he bore upon himself all the sins of humanity. He was well aware of the frail nature of body.
Jesus was stressed and exhausted
Jesus was teaching the people throughout the day. Large crowd of people were following Jesus and he was teaching them, healing them and correcting them wherever it was necessary. His travel from place to place in the hot sun, etc. would have made him tired and exhausted. He was criticised and tortured by those who hated him. He was stressed by their ungrateful attitudes. All these would have caused him stress.
Secret of Jesus in managing his stress?
Jesus is our role model in tackling the human life of stress. Jesus not only managed his stress but also teaches us how to manage stress. This secret of his managing stress is seen everywhere in the gospels. It was his prayer habit. “And he said to them, "’Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat” (Mark 6:31)
Prayer therapy was his secret of managing stress. He prayed in the mornings and whenever he was stressed. He taught this technique to his disciples and others. He sought lonely places to pray. Before doing anything he prayed. He entrusted the work to God the Father and carried out the work after prayer with a positive hope. That is why he advises us to share all our stress and burden with him. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Follow Jesus and reduce stress
Prayer can refresh our burnt out bodies and minds. It can prevent our inner state of
constant tension developing. Our trust and talk with God, our Father, can refresh and fill us with a renewed energy. Spending a few minutes in prayer and reading the Holy Book can relieve our stress.
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