Sometimes, even when we know the truth that God loves us and He will provide, we still worry. Those are times we can put our worries in Jesus’ hands, take a break from our worries, and free ourselves to rest and refresh.
When Jesus was telling us not to worry in Matthew 6:25-27, He wasn’t telling it to us as a command to inflict guilt or shame if we do worry but to encourage us. He was saying we don’t need to worry because if God takes care of the flowers and feeds the birds—which people don’t even pay attention to—how much more will He take care of us, who are more valuable than they are?
So, you see, Jesus wasn’t indicting us for worrying. Instead, He gives us a powerful and beautiful strategy: Look at the birds. Look at the flowers. See how beautiful they are. In other words, when you worry, turn to look at something beautiful. Take a break and do something that feeds your soul. Be reminded of how special and important you are to God! It is such a freeing and beautiful message of rest and refreshment from Jesus.
We don’t need to feel guilty for worrying or get down on ourselves about it. Rather, Jesus invites us to give ourselves permission and turn away from what stresses us and do what refreshes us. He invites us in Matthew 11:28:
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Sometimes, we can feel overwhelmed thinking we have to overhaul our lives to be free of worry, but it can take just 5 minutes. You can detox from stress, get refreshed, and do a little bit of soul care.
Soul care with Jesus is what I had to learn on my personal journey to heal from anxiety and panic attacks. To my delight, I researched and discovered 40 different ways to detox from stress and refresh my spirit using uplifting Scripture to spark joy with simple soul care and prayers to restore peace with God’s love.
Here are three of them you can use to de-stress and find rest:
1. Pray a breath prayer.The minute we stress is a special opportunity to invite Jesus into our day and be refreshed. A powerful, simple way is to pray a breath prayer. It is a contemplative prayer practiced by the early church to experience God’s peace, practice the presence of God, and “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
An example of a breath prayer:
Inhale and whisper the name of God you connect with—“Good morning, Jesus.”
Exhale and whisper how you feel or a request—“I love you” or “Help me today.”
2. Read a printed book.
Put away your electronic devices and breathe. Turn some actual pages. A great way to rest and relax is by unplugging and reading a good book. Research shows that reading a printed book (it helps more than reading on your tablet) is the best way to relax, and even six minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds, according to research carried out at Sussex University. Snuggling up with a good book returns rest and tranquility to your brain and body as you get lost in a story and unplug from constantly multitasking during the day, which is exhausting.
3. Listen to a worship song.
Songs give us a simple way to practice the presence of God—to call us back to Him during the day. Music is also used in therapy to uncover hidden emotional responses in children, helping them find words to express themselves. Music therapy is not just for children. Music helps us pray without words. It is shown to bring calm and comfort and alleviate pain. When you feel too stressed to pray, put on a favorite worship song and let God whisper words of rest and love to you.
God is making all things new in you. Don’t wait until your life is work-free or problem-free before spending time on what really matters: loving and nurturing your spirit. Let Jesus hold you and your worries all together so you can take a break and choose what’s better: feeding your soul. Step out. Be renewed. Be loved.
I’m worried about too many things.
Give me the courage to lay down burdens You never intended me to own.
Give me courage to choose what’s better for me today— to simply rest.
I choose You. Amen.