Shedding Stress

Oh hello :).
I’ve missed you this past week. I had a busy Monday – Friday and a lazy, snow filled weekend. Thank the Lord for four-wheel drive.
As you may notice, this blog has had a small face lift. It’s a temporary fix while I await a larger change that is in progress. I just couldn’t take the green polka dots any longer. I’ve moved on to other shapes…
I wanted to share something with you that I read from Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love. Heard of it? It’s a good one. It goes like this:
<span >”When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice (‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ Phil 4:4). In other words, that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.
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<span >Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.
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<span >Stress says that things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control.
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<span >Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.
Why are we so quick to forget God? Who do we think we are?”
When I read that passage all I could think was “guilty.”
I am guilty of giving in to worry and stress when circumstances in life seem out of my control and too big to handle. In one breath I tell God I trust Him, and in the next I am venting about the stress of an issue that has overwhelmed me. If I were to try to claim that I can simply “feel” the justified emotion of stress and worry without disobeying God, I would be lying. Because as Chan put it, when we give way to worry we are essentially abandoning our trust in God and living as if we are capable of reaching a better solution than what God can.
Who do I think I am? Yet God is so outrageously patient and loving with me even when I give Him no credit in return.
Who is this God I serve?
“Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Exodus 34: 5-7a
Mission let-go-of-worry-and-stress, here I come.