Tag Archives: stress

Numbers 7; Mark 4:21-41

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:37-40

More often than I’d like to admit, when in the midst of a crisis my faith wanes. Like the disciples, I become fearful, overwhelmed, and full of anxiety. I begin to feel hopeless. I know in the deep recesses of my brain that Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me, but I can’t always see the calm through the storm. I begin believing the lies of the enemy more than I trust Christ in me. It breaks in over me and negative circumstances fill up my boat like water. I feel like I might drown in the turmoil of the squall; I wonder how I will survive.

My current storm is one I think most mothers (and fathers) experience: the chaotic, all-consuming task of parenting small children while juggling life. I am stress out and exhausted, physically and emotionally.

On top of that, I am struggling with finding ways to keep my children occupied so that I can manage my house, and struggling to keep the to-do list small enough so I can focus on my kids. I am fraught with the frustrations of conquering one task only to find three more tasks have taken its place. I am still shocked at how quickly the girls can demolish a room – laundry I spent the morning folding but didn’t have a chance to get put away strewn across the bedroom , toys littering the play room floor, yet another wall covered in crayon mural (how did she get the crayons off the top shelf anyway!?)…Not to mention the fighting, the biting, the temper tantrums at full blast on and off all day long, the bed time resistance, the climbing all over mommy…Mommy…MOMMY!

This storm frequently feels like more than I can handle. It seems too big and some days, I am slow to remember that God is with me in the boat. I try to manage things by myself, but I am quickly overcome. I don’t feel peace. I don’t experience joy. I struggle to stay afloat. I am terrified. I am anxious. I am angry. I am impatient. I lose control and yell. “Mean mommy” rears her ugly head, producing fear and confusion, and in turn, my behavior becomes a storm for my children.

At times, when I finally do ask Jesus for help, I ask out of fear – “Don’t you care that I am overwhelmed by this storm? Don’t you care that I am afraid of drowning in it? Don’t you see I need help?”

Of course He cares. Of course He sees. He calms the storm and I am given a (temporary) breather.

However, I am learning that when I ask Him for help out of a place of faith, even when I am afraid, the storm is calmed and peace is restored in my home, and also in in my heart. He protects me. He gives me strength. He gives me wisdom. He shows me the best path to take. His love casts out my fear and I am able to lay my head in the cushion of His shoulder and rest, though other storms may come.

 Yesappa, I know you’re always there. Thank You for being with me in the midst of the storms I experience in life. Thank You for casting out fear and replacing anxiety with peace that surpasses understanding. Help me hold onto faith even when I am feeling overwhelmed. Help me trust You in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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1 Samuel 5,6; Romans 5; Jeremiah 43; Psalm 19

There’s nothing like a hearty measure of pressure to bring out my bad side. As the pressure increased, so did my impatience and irritation. I’m thankful that I was able to identify the source and realize the target–it stopped me in my tracks, but still, tracks were made. I had apologies to make. Then I sat in a room to gather my thoughts for twenty minutes. (And I might have cried.)

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Romans 5:3 NLT.

Sometimes life’s demands leave me feeling empty, wondering if I will be replenished.

How can I run on empty?

I took the afternoon off to refuel–sitting under a walnut tree on a picnic blanket to eat lunch with my kids. The cool temps and the clear blue sky hinted at fall.

I can’t always stop the earth’s spin to take a picnic break, and so I thought on what I need to do to prepare for the next leg of the race.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
    It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
The sun rises at one end of the heavens
    and follows its course to the other end.
    Nothing can hide from its heat. Psalm 19:1-6 NLT

My words and actions declare a message too. This is a recurring refrain for me.

14 May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NLT

Dear Jesus, I think I’m going to be sticking as close to you as I can this year. Let me rejoice as I run. Thank you for grace.

Courtney (66books365)

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Psalm 93-95; Philippians 4

I’ve heard it said that the part of the newspaper you read first says a lot about your personality.  For example, if you go straight for the obituaries, you tend to have more stress in your life.  But if you go to the comics first, you tend to have more laughter in your life.  Honestly, I don’t know if there’s any truth to it or what the “experts” would say about those who just read the paper for the coupons.

 

The point of today’s reading has nothing to do with newspapers and everything to do with your focus.  In Psalms 94 and 95, Moses talks about how his focus shaped his anxiety level.  “When anxiety was great within me, your [comfort] brought joy to my soul,” (Psalm 94:19).  “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care,” (Psalm 95:6-7).

 

Paul said, “I have learned the secret of being content,” (Philippians 4:12).  He didn’t say he was born with it, but rather that he learned it, that he had to work to retrain his focus.  Many times over the course of our lives, we are going to have hard times when our anxiety will be great: in financial struggles, in marital struggles, in struggles with our kids, etc.  In these times of anxiety, where will you train your focus?

 

Father, I thank you for all the times you have delivered me out of my anxiety and into your joy.  You hold me in your hands and keep me close to your heart, promising to never let me go.  I pray that I would always remember that, no matter the circumstances.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

HeatherPotts5

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Exodus 16; Luke 19; Job 34; 2 Corinthians 4

This morning I was feeling a bit burdened about everything I had to do today. I had a busy day ahead of me at work, community group as soon as I got home (with not much chance for dinner), I had homework that needed to be done after CG and posted by midnight (now I know why I waited 28 years to go to grad school), and 66Books to write and post by 4AM. As I was starting to rattle off my list to my husband and resigning myself to a very late night I had an idea…  maybe he could be a guest writer for 66Books!! He could write it while I did my homework! What a great idea! I pitched it to him and he quietly accepted the task.

Fast forward to tonight…  community group was cancelled so I had a chance to actually eat a leisurely dinner (out!) AND get my homework posted by 10PM! And my wonderful husband did the honors and wrote my 66Books entry anyway! Although now that I read it I feel a bit guilty… I thought for sure he would choose one of the Luke passages, maybe the parable of the talents (the Luke version) – at least that’s what I would have choosen.  I wonder if there is a message here for me? Anyway, enjoy! And thanks, dear.

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Scripture

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor. 4 (NIV)

Observation

In this passage it feels like Paul is has been under a lot of stress, and very likely the Church at Corinth also. He has this great ability to take the focus off the current situation that he is in and put it in an eternal perspective. At the same time he highlights God’s continual grace to the believer.

Application

On occasions that take me out of my normal comfortable routine I find myself starting to feel stressed, the uneasy feeling of not being in control, the anger when things are not going as planned.  I need to go to this passage to be reminded that no matter what we are faced with it does not compare to the rewards that are to come for being faithful.  I also need to be reminded that what I am going through is nothing compared to what others have gone through. When we do take the eternal view of our trials we are witnesses to others of the grace and glory of God.

Prayer

Lord, help me not lose heart when trials come but look to you for guidance and grace. Let me daily seek Christ revealed in my life.

Rob Graff

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