Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't Let Stress "Stress" you out!

Stress seems to be ingrained into our modern lives; its presence has become so second nature to us it is like breathing oxygen. I often wonder what life would be like without it, but I guess you could call that a real “fantasy”!

E-mails, Facebook, Twitter, doctor appointments and a long to-do list from here to eternity filled with unchecked boxes are all part of our daily reality. I often leave the office exasperated by the enormous amount of work that is still left undone, and worse, I realize the next day I will tackle all I can, but still never complete all of these tasks! Talk about stress inducing!

There was s a time in my life when I actually thrived on the pressures of my job. But that was when I was young; now that I am older (and wiser!) I recognize it for what it is: STRESSFUL! It often crashes in on me like a wave. I would love to avoid it, but I can’t.

As Christians we often believe this should not be the case; our focus should prevent stress. But being salt and light, as we’re called to be, will often introduce situations which will cause a great deal of stress. No matter our personality type, introvert or extrovert, we were never made to live life sedately. God designed us to be fully alive, and there are times when being fully alive will include stress!

However, remember that these difficulties are worth it. Our Lord Jesus told us that the sufferings of this present world cannot be compared to the glory that shall be revealed one day.

The next time you are felling overwhelmed by life’s trials, I recommend you reflect on these verses (there are many others as well!):

John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

So, don’t stress out. Thank God for the opportunity to serve. Glory is going to be ours. Until then let’s continue on.

God bless, see you Sunday!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time is Filled with Swift Transition

Please forgive me for the absence of blogs the last two weeks. I have been rather busy and before I realized it, two weeks had flown by! My father had a saying which described how busy life can be that went something like this: "I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger with an itch on a one-wrung ladder." Though I haven't been that busy, the thought of how fast time goes by has occurred to me, and it seems the older I get, the quicker my time here flies by. The old adage time and tide wait for no man is so true.

The Bible has many verses which allude to how quickly our time in this temporal realm passes. Job describes this as a "weavers shuttle and a hurrying messenger". James puts it this way: "it is as a vapor that appears for a moment then vanisheth away". When wandering in the wilderness the old sage Moses said in Psalms 90, "We are like grass that grows up in the morning and in the evening it is cut down." Moses also beseeches the Lord to "Teach us to number our days so we may apply our hearts to wisdom."

Personally, I love life. God has been very good to me. Sure, I've had my share of burdens, but they have served to strengthen my spiritual muscle. I often remind myself when going through a valley that I was not made for this world. I am heading toward my eternal home. No use complaining about it, go with it. Enjoy the race! But don't get too comfortable - it doesn't last long! Make good use of the time allotted to you! As the writer of Hebrews exhorts us, “let us run with patience the race that is set before us”.

God bless you all! I'll see you on Sunday. It will be here before you know it!

Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.