WHEN STRESS OVERWHELMS
Are you the “fill-your-schedule-with-so-many-things-trying-to-drown-out-stress kind of person?
Or are you the “I’m-too-overwhelmed-to-pull-back-the-covers-and-get-out-of-bed” kind?
I’ve been both at different times.
They worked for awhile, until God, Himself slowed my schedule down…or until He pulled me from the warmth of my covers.
GET OUT OF BED HAIKU
No no no no no
No no no no no no no
I’m begging please no.
I’m guilty of forgetting the number one thing experts advise during stress – breathing. But more importantly, I forget to Breathe Life.
I plead with Life – I beg Life to fix things – I ask Him to change things – I cry out to Life for relief…
But I forget to breathe Him. Full and deep, where His Spirit has access to even the most closed off places in me that have not received air for a long time.
Breathing – it was the number one thing we discussed in Transient Stress Vs Tragic Stress – click here to read it.
In Stress – Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh – when we beat ourselves up over how much we did not accomplish – making a list of things that we did accomplish can help us put things into perspective. Click on the link to read about “The Done List”.
The Next Right Thing
Stress is not stagnant.
It does not sit still – it cannot be ignored. No matter what has caused it – it requires some kind of action.
Whether it dictates that we just finish tasks, or whether it demands every ounce of energy we have to make it through a tragedy – stress refuses to play second fiddle.
It grips the muscles of our necks, pounds in the forefront of our heads, crushes the walls of our hearts.
When deadlines loom, or disaster strikes, no matter the severity of the stress, the magnitude of what needs to be accomplished, looms like a dark cloud. It is hard to see how we will ever make it through, but movement, of some kind, is required to get past it.
So I love what my sister-in-law, Carolyn shared as she was walking through suffocating stress.
“I’m just trying to do what my Daddy always said. He used to say, ‘Just do the next right thing. And that is what I’m trying to do – just the next right thing.”
And I like that so much more than just “doing the next thing,” because I might actually choose my next step as going back to bed, or hiding my head in the sand, or ignoring.
But, if the challenge is to do the next “right” thing, then it requires me to inquire of Someone greater than I, what that “right” thing is.
In the pursuit of the revelation as to what that right thing is, I have to breathe His Name – which is going to lead to the inhaling of Life and the exhaling of self.
Breathe in Jesus. Breathe out my will.
Breathe in Jesus. Breathe out my plans.
Breathe in Jesus. Breathe out confusion.
Breathe in…out…in…stop looking at that avalanche of stress, start focusing on Jesus one step at a time.
That next right thing, just do it. Then when that is finished, do the next right thing – then the next – then the next.
Let Jesus address your stressful situation. The Son’s vision is not impaired by what seems to be dark clouds to us.
We are never out of His sight, nor His hand.
And that darkness we feel? It might not be clouds at all – It might just be the shadow of His wing.
“Hide me in the shadow of Your wings…” Ps. 17:8