We all feel stressed, weary or under pressure from time to time. All kinds of things contribute to this – our health, our hormones, worry, too many commitments…
But what about when this becomes a daily way of life? What about when stress becomes the normal?
We live in a world where we often wear busyness as a medal of honour.
When someone asks us how things are going we feel obliged to explain how busy we are. It would seem that one of the sad realities of life in the 21st century is that our social-standing appears to be based partly on our busyness, the amount of freneticism we manage to live by.
Watch a busy person’s reaction if you dare to admit that you have space in your diary. If you confess that you spent yesterday largely doing nothing. Busyness has become our modern day survival of the fittest, the latest form of natural selection and if you’re not busy, busy, busy you’ll get left behind.
Which is ok… but what about when that busyness leads to feelings of stress all the time?
When we constantly feel exhausted, washed out?
When our anxiety levels cause us to have increased blood pressure, headaches or chronic indigestion?
Is God is calling you to change?
I’m going to share a secret with you today.
A secret that the devil doesn’t want you to know.
A secret that the world has forgotten.
A secret that will reduce your stress levels – guaranteed!
There is an alternative way of life to this fast-paced, busyness-addicted, stressed-out one our culture sucks us into.
A life of peace.
And that is a life lived in surrender to God.
You see we can choose to live a life seeking our peace and purpose from the world or from God.
On way leads to peace, one way to stress.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
I am convinced that one of the ways we are called as Christians to be distinctive, to shine the light of Christ in our time-starved world is to demonstrate the alternative. And this alternative comes from a life built on two simple words – “Yes, Lord.”
Because if we live a life dedicated to serving our Lord, in obedience to His will and in surrender to His reign over our lives, we will never be called to a life which causes us chronic stress.
It will be a life built on His perfect rhythms of work and rest.
It will be a life built on knowing His peace and strength at the centre of all we do, because we are assured that we’re living in accordance with the very purposes of God.
Not perpetual busyness, but perfect balance.
But if the rewards of this life of surrender are so great, why does it feel so scary? Why do so many of us find it so hard to travel along this path? Choosing stress over peace?
Well for me, I know it comes from insecurity.
My desire to have identity.
My need for the world to recognise me as someone.
I forget where my real identity comes from… as a daughter of God.
So, when I made the choice to be a stay at home mum I went all wobbly, spent years seeking ways to boost my confidence and rebuild my self-esteem, instead of enjoying the immense privilege of spending time with my little ones.
I become fixated on the numbers of people who read these devotions, spending hours researching how to boost these figures, instead of patiently serving God knowing peace because of the work He is doing in the hearts of individual readers.
I start to overcommit to church activities so that I can impress others with my busyness and the amount of ministry I am involved in.
Is God calling you to change?
To gaze into His face once more and see the love He has for you, His daughter.
Does He want you to surrender to Him once more rather than accepting the stress you’re living day to day?
To know that He will never call you to anything that is beyond you.
That He only ever asks you to be part of the work He has in hand. He can do it with or without you. He only asks us to serve and cooperate. It won’t all go belly up if we take a much-needed break.
Is He standing before you, beckoning you down a different path, asking you to trust Him once again?
Featured book of the month:
If you are interested in finding out more about beating stress, staying calm and receiving the peace God wants for each of us every day then check out this book which inspired this series of devotions. Just click on the image to find out more.
And now it’s linkup time!!!
Photo credit – Beniamin Pop – Stock.Xchng