Managing stress

Focus: Living in the ‘now’

Matthew 6:34 (NKJV) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

When you stop to think about the things that cause stress in your life, most of them are probably ‘what ifs’. With a burden of stress—no doubt your thought life resides more in the future than in the present. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how much time you’ve spent stressing about things that ended up working out fine? If we spend so much time under stress about things that usually end up working out—why do we fall into the trap of stressing at all?

Now, you can listen and/or read!

Wouldn't it be interesting to know how much time you've spent stressing about things that ended up working out fine? --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
Link to New Strength Devotional, Audio Version
Wouldn't it be interesting to know how much time you've spent stressing about things that ended up working out fine? --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
New Strength Devotional Inspirational Statement of the Day

Let’s think about that. Try looking back over the past, say—five years of your life. Can you list the top five things that were causing you stress? In general, maybe you can. But can you recall the details of the panic episodes you endured? I venture you may not be able to even remember a fraction of the intense daily drama that kept you up late or caused you to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. So, what did it really accomplish—and what was it worth? It’s interesting how stress can take over our mind and drive us to distraction—and then a few years later, we don’t even remember the details.

In this day and age it’s practically popular to be stressed out. Most people are. You almost tend to ‘wonder’ about someone who isn’t…as though they have a rare condition of some kind. Let’s face it—there are plenty of reasons to be stressed out.

From your own personal economics standpoint: If you have a job—you usually have some stress. If you don’t have a job—you are probably stressed about that. If you have lots of money—you have to figure out how to manage it. If you don’t have a lot of money—you have to figure out how you’re going to make ends meet. Very few people live in a state where there would not be any reason to stress about something regarding their work or financial status. The opportunity to stress is there alright. How about your family relationships and personal friends? Any stress there?

Yet, the facts are still the same, no matter what the source of the problem may be. Stress takes on a life of its own when we leave today and start time traveling into the future. If we were able to stay in the here and now, a lot of the things we are concerned with would be irrelevant. We’d save ourselves so much creative energy that is currently being used up in a totally uncreative way—by stress.

We already know stress is harmful to our physical health. The facts are out there. But, what does stress say about our spiritual health? Furthermore—what does it say about our relationship with God? Having faith in God involves trusting His ability to solve problems, provide for our needs, and be the One to carry the load of pressure this life can dish out. ‘Having faith’ is trusting God’s plan for us.

Our culture has conditioned us to believe in a system of living that is far from what God originally intended. I’m not saying we should all go back to nature and a grass roots mentality. But, I am saying we should examine what is really important in life and not live entirely by the secular code. If we seek Him for it, God is able to show us a way to live that doesn’t require the kind of physical and mental strain that people just accept as ‘normal’ today.

What if our home, our car, our wardrobe, and our career weren’t the most important considerations? What if we didn’t have to struggle to balance and maintain the highest possible standard of living we could attain to? What if we were just, ‘satisfied with less’?

That might sound like a cop out to you. Or, maybe it sounds like a pipe dream. Maybe you think things have gone way too far and you are in too deep to ever have a ‘simple life’. Well, I would like to propose that you consider the possibility. There is always another way. You don’t have to settle for the complicated mess you have. If your situation appears to you as impossible, that’s great! God loves to rescue those who have exhausted their resources and have no where else to turn. He’s done it many, many times.

Nothing is impossible for God. The near impossible task might be changing your mind about what is important to you. The most difficult part of changing might be for you to become willing to ‘let go’ of your own expectations and the expectations of others.

Declaration: I will find new strength by rethinking my goals. I believe God is leading me to a happy, peaceful life that is more ‘sane’. I am opening my mind to a new and better physical, mental, spiritual, and social existence that will allow me to enjoy my life on a daily basis. I will stop stressing about the future and focus on living in the ‘now’.

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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.


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