Have you ever avoided prayer because you knew it would push the pain to the surface? Life can get pretty overwhelming at times, and when burdens overload our system, we shut down and life grinds to a standstill. How does your body respond to stress? Mayo Clinic lists some of the symptoms of stress:
- Physical pain (especially in the neck and shoulders)
- Smoking (or other addictive behaviors)
The first step to responding to stress is changing the way you think. When you feel helpless, when circumstances are way beyond your control and all you can do is utter, “God help me,” (if you could even mutter those words without crying) – look to the heavens and know where your help comes from:
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:1-8 (emphasis added)
Crying helps and it’s good to let out the floodgates of tears every now and then, but the migraines that follow after an intense sob are very draining, and the sorrow won’t stop if your perspective doesn’t shift. Recovery time is different for everyone; some can bounce back and go right to work, while others can spend half a day to days and weeks in bed, with no motivation or physical strength to get up and pull themselves together.
Shorten Your Recovery Time by Looking to God
My sub-heading was almost “Shorten Your Recovery Time with Mind Change,” but changing your perspective is only part of the process. Looking to God will make mind change easier because, after all, you would be relying on God’s strength to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.
Let’s examine Psalm 121 again. Every verse is practically saturated with God’s love for you. He is with you from beginning to end. He’s got your back. He watches over your every move because He cares. God will keep you from all harm; He will watch over your life — your coming and going, “both now and forever more.” Sometimes I jump wayyyyy ahead of myself. I worry so far into the future about my family when I don’t even know if I’ll be alive tomorrow. Anyone can be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and all your stress would have been in vain.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Isn’t it true that each day has enough trouble of its own? Do what you can today, and leave the rest up to God. If you compound all the worries of the next 10, 30, 50 years to your shoulders right now, you will only add misery to your life.
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all….” Psalm 34:19
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (emphasis added)
Trouble is guaranteed. Everyone has problems! However, we can have peace if we put our trust in God, for He promises that He will deliver the righteous from all their troubles. That’s a bold statement, but you will definitely experience a shift in your inner being when you start to change your mind about your troubles. The only real long-term solution to your sorrows is looking to God and casting all your anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7). Accept, embrace, and cling to every promise in the Bible, because they are yours if you claim them.
#peace #Christ #prayer #trust #musingz4life #eyesonGod