Sunday, March 31, 2019

Don't Be Stressed by Your Stress!

Do you ever become depressed by those lists of risk factors for various diseases, inevitably accompanied by ways to beat the odds?  I have reached a place in life wherein my multiple health challenges preclude most of the proposed ways to beat Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Get plenty of sleep (I try, believe me I try), eat fiber (not a good idea for someone with my digestive system), exercise (on three separate occasions I've ended up on crutches and once in a wheelchair when I was overzealous with exercise: stress fractures, bursitis, fibromyalgia), get plenty of sunshine (I have ocular rosacea and light-induced migraine).  And my favorite: avoid stress.  Trust me, I do not look for stress.  It finds me.  I'd like to know how a farmer's wife with two adult kids (four if you count my daughter and son-in-law, and I do), four grandchildren,  and an Alzheimer's mom is supposed to avoid stress.

Stress is a fact of my life, as is my daily pouring out of my stresses to the Lord.  By the end of most days, stress is back, and I must conduct the exercise of casting my cares all over again.

This is why I'm so comforted by the Scripture-based promises in the fifth stanza of the classic hymn How Firm a Foundation (see the meme at the opening of this post).  "The flame shall not hurt thee..."  What a lovely promise!  I don't have to fear the flames of the stresses of my life because the Lord has promised that although the burning away of dross may be painful, that His refining fire will test me and bring me forth as gold (see Job 23:10 below).  He has my good in mind.  And He is the one who is wielding the flame that causes me so many episodes of the sensation we humans call stress.

His grace is constantly present with us, and covers us.  The difficulties along our paths are known and ordained by the Lord who intends us good and not harm.  I don't have to be stressed by my stress, because it isn't mine at all, it belongs to God, who has allowed the circumstances I face and has made me a way through.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7

This third I will put into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
    and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.
Zechariah 13:9

But he knows the way I take; and when I am tested I will come forth as gold.
Job 23:10

1 comment:

  1. An excellent post... I have been afraid of the journey in the same way that I wouldn’t mind visiting Florida, I just don’t want to take the trip. I know that I am on my way to Glory, it’s just that the journey is so challenging. Life: it’s not for wimps.