Flickering candles, soft music, trickling fountains. I sat in the lobby of a luxurious day spa on my birthday, waiting for a massage. As I glanced around the waiting room, I realized most of us there were likely trying to find escape from the busyness of life. We came to this place hoping for a moment of serenity. Yet despite the calm, relaxing environment, my heart still raced. My thoughts bounced from one item to another demanding my attention: my husband’s approaching deployment, my responsibilities at work, an upcoming move to my parent’s house. How was I going to get it all done? What could I do to slow my thoughts down? And why didn’t the spa experience seem to be helping?
We live in a culture desperately seeking relief from the chaos of day- to-day living. Our nightstands are overflowing with magazines and books with step-by-step guides to reducing stress. Yoga classes are filled with people looking for solace in mental relaxation techniques. We spend our days driving to seminars that promise results, doctors who prescribe medications, therapists who provide counsel, and we tune our car radios to stations that offer soothing melodies. Ironically, we’re scrambling to find stillness and missing out on it in the process.
Now don’t get me wrong, the desire to avoid stress and chaos in life is healthy and right, but in fleeing these things, we need to stop and ponder the direction of our feet. Are we running aimlessly away from stress or are we running purposefully towards Christ? As Christians, we need to consider the desires of our heart: Are we simply craving rest and relaxation or are we longing for our Prince of Peace?
The Bible says that as Jesus approached the bustling city of Jerusalem, He stopped at the Mount of Olives where He had a magnificent view of the city, and He wept. This was the holy city and it teemed with religious fervor, abundant wealth, and prophetic knowledge. But Luke 19:41-42 tells us, “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! “
Jesus wept because He knew within a matter of decades the city would face destruction. Why? Because they had failed to acknowledge that Jesus was the King of Kings prophesied about; the Redeemer who would save them. The Prince of Peace had arrived on the scene, and they missed it!
We must not live our busy lives failing to recognize that Jesus is who we need to give us true peace. We must point our spouses to Christ when they feel overwhelmed by responsibilities. We must encourage our children to communicate to the Lord about their anxieties with school or friendships. His promises enrich the heart and will not leave the spirit restless. Don’t just run from stress. Run to Christ!
Charity Deckard is newly married and a breath of fresh air. She works at Apologia and has a beautiful heart for Christ.