Some modern statistics on Stress in our society: 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress. 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or disorders. Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis, and suicide. An estimated one million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550,000,000 workdays lost annually because of absenteeism. The proportion of workers who reported “feeling highly stressed” more than doubled from 1985-1990. 40% of all worker turnover is due to job stress. Job stress is estimated to cost U.S. industry $300 billion annually, as assessed by absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, medical insurance, etc.

Kevin Miller, in his 2006 “Managing Chaos,” says that the rapid pace of modern life and high tech communication has raised the stress level even more. I quote: The average office gets 220 messages a day in emails, memos, phone calls, interruptions, and ads. No wonder a survey of 1,313 managers on four continents found that “one-third of managers suffer from ill health as a direct consequence of stress associated with information overload. This figure increases to 43 percent among senior managers.”

Psalm 127 has one of my all time favorite verses in the Bible. There is some debate over the translation but I like how the NIV translates it. It’s verse 2, and it says, “It’s useless for you to work from early morning until late at night just to get food to eat. God provides for those he loves even while they sleep.” The NET Bible says it well also, “ It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.”

In Matthew 6:26, Jesus tells us, “Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?”

“We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.” (Psalm 123:2)