That silver-tongued devil.
It sneaks up on us, seducing us to accept it into every part of our lives.
A little bit seems good. It helps us get that project done. It motivates us to make positive change. It whispers in our ears…
“…just a bit longer, and I’ll let you relax”.
“…you won’t feel this way forever. I promise”.
“…you need me to get through this”.
And my personal favorite…
“…you’ll get used to me and eventually forget I’m even here”.
A little bit of stress is good when we are in a situation that requires us to stand up and pay attention.
But stress can become a habit. And with that habit comes anxiety, dysfunction, uncertainty, fear, and sickness.
Once stress attaches itself to us, it can be almost impossible to let it go, and it makes us vulnerable to all types of mental and physical illness which creates-you guessed it- even more stress.
We get used to it. The heart palpitations, the migraines, the tendency to not eat well, the lethargy, the sneaky desire to relieve it by doing activities that only make it worse.
Stress becomes closer to us than our loved ones.
We isolate ourselves without knowing it. Stress becomes the lover we’ve grown tired of, but can’t get rid of. Then we throw up our hands and live with it.
I’m not saying that we can live lives completely stress-free. We shouldn’t expect to. But how we handle stress is key. Not allowing it to permeate our lives will keep us from falling victim to it.
Stress is like a savory spice. A little goes a very long way.
It will keep whispering in our ears long after its usefulness is done-if we let it.
Learn to manage stress God’s way. He knows we experience it.
I have a friend who has a very stressful job. They must endure it and stress is part of the package. Every now and again, when this person comes to mind I send a simple one word email or text. It simply says:
So, I’m telling you, Faithful Reader-if you are under stress’s charms and feel overwhelmed…
Take a deep breath. Remember Whose hands you are in. Take another breath.
Luke 12:22-31 (NIV)
Do Not Worry
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
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