COLLINS COLUMN: What to do when you’re feeling stressed by new year pressures

Published 4:54 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

By Dean Collins
President of Point University

Did you do any worrying over the Christmas break? Maybe you were too busy with family visits, catching up with old friends, and then taking down all the Christmas decorations and putting them away. When you heard or read the news of the day did it bring you concerns about how this year will turn out? Or maybe it was reading all the articles about the food we eat that is bad for us or the exercise we should be doing but we can’t seem to do like we used to. So we simply sit and stew over our health or the health of loved ones.

I will confess that over the years the last week of the year and the first week of the new year tend to keep me restless and stressed. I always manage to get out of my mind in the right place to embrace the gift of a Savior born that holy night long ago. But it doesn’t take long for the worry and stress over things I can’t control to start backing up.

Many nonprofit and business leaders experience somewhat of a silent phase just before and after the silent night of Christmas. For a few days, the urgent emails stop; the salespeople, the recruiters, and the fundraisers all come to a screeching halt. In that moment, CEOs, and nonprofit leaders all realize there is absolutely nothing they can do to solve a problem, raise a dollar, increase sales, or alter expenses. Everything is out of our control. And in these moments, the stress begins to kick in and the worries rev up.

If like me you find yourself feeling stressed or worrying too much as you resume your normal routines after the break, the prophet Zechariah has given us a very good reminder concerning how everything will turn out:

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.”

In Deuteronomy we learn: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Ever since the beginning of time, God desired to bring all of his beloved creation into perfect oneness. His desire for us moved Heaven to earth in the person of Jesus. In Zechariah and the final pages of Revelation, we read that God has placed all things in the hands of Jesus and that Jesus will reign in the end, bringing mankind to dwell with him.

The apostle John writes:

 ”And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” 

These are life-giving and stress-lowering promises! Everything comes out exactly as God planned in the end! On that day the Lord is one, and we will all be one with the Lord. No more tears, no more sleepless nights, no more stressing over health, cash flow, or customer complaints. God brings all things into unity with him.

And there is something we can do now as we work and wait for God’s eternal plan to resolve favorably for us and all creation.  We can pray the prayer Jesus taught us to pray:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name! Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. . . .”

Here is the one thing we can do that changes us and changes everything; We pray that God’s kingdom will come and that his will be done in us, in our work, in our families, in all situations on earth as it is in Heaven.

God will answer our prayers. As we align ourselves with his will and abide in Christ, we can be sure the promises that came through Zechariah and John and all of Scripture will turn out exactly as God planned.   Take a breath. 

Read the promises of Scripture.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer.

And know that God has us and all things worked out!