Sunday, April 21, 2013

Peace from Stress

"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress."
                                                 Psalm 107:19

This has been our inspirational verse this second week of the Stressed-Less Living online Bible study, and is means so many things to me.  I really felt its meaning during the first exercise we were encouraged to do, in which we put our own names in the actual verse itself. Below, I actually did this with verses 19-21 using the Good News Translation. 

"Then, in her trouble, Jenny called to the Lord, and He saved her from her distress.  He healed Jenny with His command and saved her from the grave.  Jenny must thank the Lord for His constant love, for the wonderful things He did for her."  Psalm 107: 19-21 GNT

After doing this exercise, and reading it over and over for several minutes, my heart melted.  I was so inspired and touched spiritually by these verses.  The first two sentences are comforting and provide so much security knowing that I have a God who will rescue me from anything--even from myself.  The verse serves as a reminder that God is always with me and will never leave me.  He's not even a phone call away.  He's right beside me all the time.  Because of this, I need to thank Him for the protection and comfort He provides--thank Him not only with my words in prayer, but in my daily walk with Him.  Also, I have to set aside my negative feelings of stress and anxiety so I don't miss out or take for granted the awesome blessings He has for me--open my hands and say, "Thank  you."

On our knees
When I let stress crown my mind and my heart, there's not as much room left for God.  Succumbing to stressful situations definitely puts my mind, my body, and my heart at risk.  The biggest heartbreak in these situations is that I've completely abandoned the truth that God is with me wherever I go.  God will never leave or forsake me.  When I cry to Him, God will save me.  Forgetting this really puts a damper on my relationship with the Lord because my confidence in His abilities as Lord of my life is not what it should be.  In other words, I suffer a faith failure.  Through this study, I want to learn to retrain my brain and my heart to not be phased negatively by the stress I face because of the faith I have in God to keep His promises, and to know that He always has His arms opens ready to surround me in His love and protection.  Once I remember to automatically stay in this place during times of stress instead of letting my faith waver, I won't be shaken.

Mirror Mirror
Dear Lord,
My reactions to stress are so harmful, yet so automatic that I don't even realize how much trouble I am in until I'm knee deep in anger, sadness, and anxiety.  Lord, I know that you are my Savior.  I know that you, and only you, can save me from myself and my reactions to any situation I am faced with.  I pray Lord that you give me the strength to not just come to you for peace in times of stress, but to carry that peace with me constantly--the peace that can only be given by you.  Please help me to unclench my fists so that I may receive your beautiful gift of peace that you have waiting for me, and help me to not be so blinded by stress that I miss all of the wonderful blessings you give me everyday.  Lord, thank you always for your love, your strength, and most of all, your patience with me.  Amen.
The Lord blesses me in so many ways, most of which I take for granted.  Everyday things like the health of myself and my family, smiling and laughing with my family, the joy of helping someone in need, the embrace of a child--especially my own.  He gives me so many blessings everyday, yet I still doubt His goodness and His ability to just take care of everything. 
This week, a work committment was scheduled for the following month on what I thought was the same day as my daughters last appointment with her pulmonologist before the doctor leaves her practice.  Instantly, I went into panic mode.  I thought to myself this work committment is something I and many others have been working so hard for, and what example will I be setting if I don't see it through.  At the same time, I am beating myself up for even considering the notion of not being at my daughter's appointmentWhen it comes to something important, and this was, I never but work ahead of my family.  Period.  My bosses know this too.  True, my husband would be there and he is more than able to handle it, especially since the situation isn't quite as scary and serious as it was over a year ago when we started taking her to the pulmonologist.  But what if he doesn't ask the right questions?  What if he doesn't remember all of the things the pulmonologist tells him?  What if the professional goal that I and many others have worked so hard to achieve is squashed simply because of my lack of presence, causing many children to be deprived of a much needed health care service?  What do I do? 
By the time I got home from work, I was exhausted, my appetite was gone, and I couldn't even think about things I needed to do with my family and my home.  I was in my bathroom drying my hair when these words burst through my crazy, stressful thoughts:  I will take care of it.  Done.  As soon as I left my bathroom, I checked the calendar and realized I had been give the wrong day of the week for my work committment, which would actually be taking place on a Tuesday.  My daughter's appointment was on the following Thursday.  Once again, God saved me from myself as He always does.  I said outloud, "Well He told me not to worry about it."  My husband looked at me and said, "Who are you talking about?"  I shook my head at myself and my temporary lack of faith, and responded, "God."  My husband have me one of those looks he gives me when he's trying really hard to get through my confusion so he can be supportive...he had no idea what I was talking about...but he just said, "Oh, ok."  The way the situation should've gone was when I was presented with the potential conflict, I should've hit my knees and prayed for the Lord to fix it and steady my heart to be at peace with the results.  No doubting.  No worrying.  No stressing.  Just praying and waiting for God to do His best.  Hopefully, this will serve as yet another learning experience that will lead me down God's path, not my own. 


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  2. Jenny, I had the same thing happen this week with a work commitment and a commitment at my son's school, for what would happen next month and it all falling on the same day. It worked out to be different days, just as in your situation, but I love how you talk about how God talked to you and said it was taken care of. Isn't that such a reassuring thing?!?! Thanks for sharing!

    Kris (OBS Small Group Leader)