God turns distress to de-stress, Griffin tells Chapel
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Dr. Tim Griffin, Grand Canyon University’s pastor and dean of students, meets with students all the time, so he knows the stress they’re feeling these days.
Midterms are coming up, and he wanted to try to assuage their discomfort with his Chapel message Monday morning at GCU Arena. Griffin urged his listeners to put their troubles, no matter what they are, in God’s hands.
“I’m sure our students are beginning to feel the pressure and the weight and the struggle of everything that’s a part of being a student in college,” he said afterward. “Part of me is anticipating the idea that, if you’re not feeling this way now, you’re going to feel it.
“The other part of it is that there are a number of students who come to GCU and don’t have a faith background or faith tradition. They find their way to Chapel and are trying to figure out, ‘How do I do all this? How does this work for me? I’m already trying to do this and that and I think I’m a good person and I think I’m right with God, but I’m feeling all this pressure with school, with my social life, I’m tired, I’m eating wrong, and all those things start piling up.’
“My hope was to nudge them toward more of a personal relationship with Jesus, to understand that just doing the work is not going to answer the issues that they’re feeling.”
Griffin started his talk by telling of a time he was going through some difficulties and let the stress get to him.
He used to be a chaplain for professional motorsports organizations, and he told the story of how, during a particularly tough day of accidents and injuries in a race at Sonoma, Calif., he did something completely out of character while driving up the freeway to the hospital in nearby Santa Rosa: He got into a dispute with another driver.
Fortunately, it didn’t amount to anything, and Griffin quickly came to his senses and realized how foolish it would be to let something like that escalate. He equated that experience to the pressure that we all face from time to time.
“We start getting to this stage in our daily or weekly lives where we start running out of gas,” he said. “All of a sudden, physically we’re just tired, emotionally we’re kind of drained and spiritually we’re just empty. Anything can happen in those moments, when we’re at our worst and not at our best.”
And Griffin said there’s only one place to turn — to the Lord. Griffin quoted from Matthew 11:25-30, which reads in part:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It’s the easy way out. Often, it’s the only way out. The key, Griffin said, is to approach God with “a humility and a dependence that’s like a child.”
“The joy of freedom in Jesus can be yours,” Griffin said. “Whether you are a first-time believer in Jesus or you’ve been walking with Him for years and years but yet you find yourself with this burden of life on your shoulders, I encourage you to go back to the truth of these words to find in Him the rest for your soul that you may need today.”
● For a replay of Griffin’s talk, click here.
● Next Monday’s Chapel speaker: Tim Kimmel, Family Matters
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.