Life is hectic for everyone. At some point in life this plain fact hits us bare on the face and from there on out comes the struggle to keep sane and healthy in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. By now, I’m sure most people have seen the Humans of New York medical student post but for those of us that don’t live on the internet, I’ll post it here too.
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“I just finished medical school. Now I’m heading to residency, which is supposed to be even tougher. I’ve been working sixteen-hour days. Then I’m expected to study every night when I get home. Some of my classmates only sleep three hours per night. I tried that for a few months during my surgery rotation, but I ended up getting really depressed. I felt completely depersonalized. Everything seemed like a dream. To make matters worse, a lot of the instructors are jerks. I think they went through hell when they were students, so they feel like they should put us through hell. On the first day of rotations, my attending physician told me: ‘I’m an asshole, but I’ll make you a better doctor.’ He made fun of me in front of other students. He put me down in front of patients. He’d threaten to kick me out every day. I guess they’re trying to weed people out and make strong doctors. But they’re just traumatizing people. They’re making us apathetic. I got into medicine because I really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. But after going through hell, I just don’t care anymore.”
I could say a lot about this as I am also a medical student and I know this story all too well. Medical school/training can be hell and so can be most of life really, if that wasn’t the case then suicide rates would not be spiking and depression would not be a 21st century global health issue. Unfortunately mental stress wears our bodies out too because things work from the inside out. Hence why John prayed “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 1:2)
How does God wants us to deal with stress? He knows we have this struggles as human beings that have to work and meet people and get certain things done, but God being the good God that He is already provided ways for us to live a stress free life.
What do we do with our stress?
We take it to church.
Church gets a lot of bad representation, but let me tell you, church is the best place to be when you are tired, because best believe you will not leave tired. Jesus said it’s sick people that need a doctor (Mark 2:17). The church is your hospital. God made church so you will have a place to come to when you are exhausted and a place to gather and celebrate when you are happy. My dad once said when drunkards are happy they met at the bar, when they are sad they met at the bar to mourn so it should for a child of God and church. It’s so sad that so many people don’t know the benefits of being in church so I’ll go ahead and list a few now;
Benefits of attending a local church.
A word will always come directly for you and you will catch it if you are attentive. A good example is the woman who wanted her daughter healed but wasn’t a Jew, even though, Jesus said no she still got a word that lead to her healing (Mark 7:24-30 TPT). She wouldn’t have even heard anything if she had decided to stay home and wallow in grief over her daughter’s illness. God desires that we come to Him with our troubles.
You will get to serve and God promises to reward those that serve in his house. David said Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked (Ps 84:10). The bible says God is a rewarded of those that serve him (Heb 6:10). Another thing is when you are serving you have much less time to think of yourself and focus on your own shortcomings.
There’s a heavy anointing in church for miracles. It’s like we are all carrying fire and then when we come together, it’s an explosion. Anything can happen. There a dense cluster of heavenly presence in church. Impossible is non existent! Hallelujah. Here’s a example in Acts 2, on the day of pentecost, the implantation of the Holy ghost came when there was a gathering of Gods people. And there are many testimonies of miracles taking place in the midst of God’s people, in church! The church is for our edification.
The reason why we don’t see these things when we come to church is that 1) we are not attentive and sensitive 2) we don’t really believe those things we say we believe which is okay because we are all at different levels in faith. The important thing is to keep believing and chasing after God till our eyes are completely open to all his glory when he comes back for us.
Go to church with an understanding that you are supposed to be blessed when you go to church, you’re supposed to be refreshed, empowered, imparted with joy, strengthened. That’s what church is supposed to do to you. If your local church isn’t doing that to you prayerfully consider changing churches.
We sing and dance it away.
Music is powerful stuff. Whenever Christians talk about music and the can I listen to secular music debate comes up, we often forget to see, as Jackie Hill Perry once pointed out that music can be a form of devotion to God. Sometimes, the reason we are so stressed and sad is we aren’t listening to anything reminding us of how insanely good God is, or how he saved us from sin and made us righteous, or how he has been there for us in tough times, or how beautiful he is, or how he can turn things around or most importantly how much he loves us. Music can help us stay refreshed and stay saturated with thoughts of our God and God did say he will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on him. (Isaiah 26:6)
Dance too, dance a lot.
Praise God, praise God! Praise God with everything! It’s why David chants and chants all over the Psalms offering praises to God. It does something to you. it puts everything in such clear perspective. I mean, everything fades in comparison to God, to the splendour and beauty of his majesty, all our worries seem overly unnecessary when we really see God and see how much he cares for us. When our hearts are troubled, sometimes the only medium that helps us see God in music.
Here’s a playlist in case you are looking for recommendations. You could also listen to Ty Bello’s spontaneous worship sessions on YouTube.
I will stop here for now and publish the next part in a few days because I want you to be able to digest things and not just gloss over the points. I hope you’ve been blessed.
Till next time,
Love & love—O