“In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.” (Psalm 120:1a CSB)
Two essentials of a joyful life are honesty and peace. The psalmist who wrote Psalm 120 had little joy, because he was surrounded by dishonesty and hostility. His life was full of stress.
Not having honesty and peace around us creates a life of turmoil. When honesty is lacking in those around us, building trust is a near impossibility. At the very least, it limits trust, and we end up having to construct “levels” of trust.
When peace is a scarcity around us, the ensuing hostility consumes our resources, especially our most valuable resource – time. The lack of peace rivots our attention in the wrong directions and re-focuses our priorities. That happens because the default of life is actually peace. We were made for that, not hostility.
So when dishonesty and hostility prevail, distress becomes the order of the day. The solution for distress is to “de-stress.” Easier said than done, but the psalmist learned the solution: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.” We call, the Lord answers. The solution is the relationship. God is very present. He is with us, and He provides the power to de-stress our lives. Does God take us out of those situations to accomplish this? No. It is in our relationship with Him that we experience an all-sufficient grace to walk through the turmoil, hearing His voice of encouragement saying, “I am with you.” And that is enough.
Lord, You truly are the answer for all of our needs. When we find ourselves in deep stress, help us to move toward de-stress by recognizing Your presence when we call on You. Amen.