Do stress ever make you ever feel like this?
This is one of my favorite topics, so forgive me, while I think out loud, maybe rant a bit, and provide truths that I have clung to when, especially dealing with this BIG word called stress. I don’t think, in my humble opinion, that we realize why stress can hurt us so much (our bodies, our minds, our relationships, our health, our work, our families, …).
Today, I want to share that I’ve been learning why trust in God has always helped, rather than hurt me.
Stress is something that is rampant in the US. It’s everywhere. It’s on people’s faces, their day-planners, their eating habits, their obsessive exercise or lack of movement whatsoever, and the list could go on and on and on, because stress consumes so much of how Americans live their lives.
Stress hurt me. It hurt my body, and for a LONG time (emphasis on LONG), I ran around trying to be moralistic and good and skinny, just because I was desperate to be accepted. But I can’t be good. ‘All my righteousness was as filthy rags.’ It was when I realized that I couldn’t be good, when I realized that Jesus came to save sinners and call us to repentance, my fear and stress started to melt away. It’s not my ‘goodness’ that gets me into heaven but the righteousness of Christ. Does that mean that I will keep sinning? No, I can’t possibly keep sinning, because Jesus has made everything different for me. He has given me an eye to see that my idols of body and self will never satisfy me, but that He is all satisfying.
Ephesians 3:18-19 says, “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
And these verses? These verses from Philippians are the ones that hit that word, ‘STRESS’ right on the head. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How often did I stay up at night thinking?
1. ‘I can’t control my weight. I can’t control my eating. I can’t be skinny.’
And I didn’t take it to the Lord in prayer and leave it at the foot of the cross, because I didn’t believe that I now LIVE in Christ, not under the stress, the cares, and the anxieties of the society around me.
I firmly believe that this world was not brought about by random chance. This is the #1 reason I know that I have no reason to be stressed or anxious.
This world didn’t just come out of nothing. Everyday, I see the hand of a Creator in the food I eat, the people I love, the birds I hear, the dogs that bark, and the cat that purrs. It’s just too beautiful, unique, and special to not be lovingly designed and created by the most AWESOME Designer of all. 🙂
If the God of the Universe brought this into being and is sovereign over everything, why do I need to be stressed? Why do I need to run around, feeling like I have to hold the whole weight of the world on my shoulders, when I don’t? Why do I need to be burdened when He calls me to come to Him with my worries, fears, cares, and anxieties? Matthew 11:28-30 says, “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.”
I had so many days that I felt like I needed to be good enough, to hold all of my friendships in the balance, to be perfectly healthy, to love my family all the time (because I’m just perfect like that?), to be skinny, and I realized I couldn’t do it, but that GOD is enough. God fills me. I truly can do ‘ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ He is perfect love. He is the good friend. He is the sustainer of my body and soul and mind and spirit. He is in me, and He is my strength.
By the grace of God, I am changing day by day. I am changing to trust Him more. I’m learning to shut out the lies that I’m tempted to hear everyday. I don’t want stress to kill my joy, to define my life, my body image, my purpose. Instead, I want the JOY of Jesus to fill my heart, so that I can be a blessing to others and a glory to my AWESOME Heavenly Father!
Trust vs. Stress?
What do you turn to when you’re stressed? I would love to hear your feedback! 🙂
Thank you Amanda for hosting the link-up! It’s always a blessing to me to be able to share thoughts and read thoughts of other bloggers and friends.