CHALLENGES IN LIVING
TOGETHER AS COMMUNITY
Rest in the Lord
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. For my
yoke is easy, and my burden is
Stress is a modern day malady. It affects our
physical, mental and spiritual health. Are you
able to sleep well at night, or do you toss and
turn about something? Do you feel enslaved by
daily duties and responsibilities? Is life like a
list of endless urgent matters that you need to
keep up with? Too much cell phone, Facebook and
the internet occupy our precious time and energy –
they do not help with our stress level.
God wants us to rest. He rested when He created
the world. He introduced the Sabbath, which is a
time for personal and family rest, and is a
pattern for us to follow. Jesus came so that we
may have life in its fullness, in abundance [John
10:10]. He created us not to be like robots or
machines. Stress sucks the joy out of life. You
can choose to live a stressful life, but you can
also choose also not to. So, if you choose to live
in the rat race, you will still end up – as a rat.
It is your choice.
So How Do You Avoid Stress
in Life and Be Able to Rest in the Lord?
- Decide to be purposeful in life – do not
just do what is the most urgent, but what is
important. Establish personal and family
goals. Plan your life based on your goals and
priorities. Learn to say no.
- Take regular ‘pauses’ in life. See how you
can avoid or alleviate stress in your daily
life. Use your annual leave wisely. Regularly
plan for a personal retreat and/or family
vacation. Take care of your body by exercising
regularly. A revitalised and healthy body
refreshes and sharpens the mind too.
- Take time off from cell phones, the internet
and other technology stuff. Some Christians
regularly ‘fast’ from technology. Why? It
shows that they are not slaves of all these
modern gadgets, but they serve the living God.
Decide to invest your time with relationships
rather than with gadgets.
- Develop some good healthy hobbies and
diversions you enjoy – such as gardening,
reading good books, hiking, painting or
something similar. These things can help you
regain some balance in life.
- Celebrate the Lord’s Day with family and
friends. Gather together to thank God for His
blessings of the week, and recall your
forthcoming eternal destiny. Enjoy time
together with some board games or other fun
activities together. Enjoy the company of
friends and family.
- Learn to trust in the Lord and say no to
anxiety. Do not be anxious about anything, but
in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known
to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses
all understanding, will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus. [Philippians
4:6-7] Know that God is in control – not you.
He knows the past, the present and the future,
and believe that everything will work out good
for those who love Him [Romans 8:28].
- Lastly, if there is something that keeps
stressing you out, you need to deal with that
source of stress. The best thing to do is to
talk with a pastoral care person to discuss
and for you to decide what to do.
- But seek first the kingdom of God and his
righteousness, and all these things will be
added to you. Therefore do not be anxious
about tomorrow… [Matthew 6:33-34A]
- Humble yourselves, therefore, under the
mighty hand of God so that at the proper time
he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties
on him, because he cares for you. [1 Peter
- Other references: Psalms 9:10; Psalm 37:3-5;
Psalm 118:8-9; Proverbs 3:5; and Isaiah 26:4
For personal reflection or
- From a grade of 1 to 10 with 10 being the
highest, how stressed are you right now? How
- What decisions and actions do you need to do
to avoid and/or lessen stress in your life?
- What can you do to enjoy life more?
Tom Caballes is the National
Senior Administrator and a National
Coordinator of the Lamb
God, a community of the Sword of
the Spirit with 7 branches located
throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads
Zealand, an outreach program for
high school, university, and
post-university aged people.
Tom and his wife Mhel and
their two daughters live in
Wellington, New Zealand.