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Dealing With Stress

By Barbara Rainey

First posted on

Years ago I thought, with confidence and expectancy, "When full time parenting is over, when all my kids are grown and on their own, then I’ll be so much more relaxed, have more time to myself, and will have a lot less stress."

Once again I totally missed on that assumption, just as I wrongly assumed life would be easier once the kids were past the diaper stage. And frankly, many other expectations I’ve had of life have been just as misplaced.

“Man is born for trouble” (Job 5:7) is not my favorite verse. Is it yours? Doubtful.

“Happily ever after" is what I’ve always wanted and even tried to achieve in our little family in our little corner of the world. That too was destined for more pain and difficulty than I ever expected because God wanted me to know truth spoken by Jesus, “In this world you will have trouble.”

He knew a bubble of peace and paradise, if I were able to create it, would have left me without a need for a Savior and with no hope for heaven.

Today I’m no more eager to welcome trials and difficulties than I was twenty years ago, but I am wise enough to know there is always a purpose in feeling stressed. Miraculously, as only God can do, He takes all the ugly and broken of my life and weaves good, strong and beautiful threads into the mess to create worshipful wonder.

Bewildered and pressured describe the state of my soul this week. A little poem I read summarized well my state; its end a picture of a beautiful weaving.

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;

Pressed so intently it seems beyond strength.

Pressed in body and pressed in soul;

Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;

Pressure by foes, pressure by friends;

Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

Pressed into loving the staff and the rod;

Pressed into knowing no helper but God.

Annie Johnson Flint

Do you relate to feeling stressed? Have you too been surprised with how difficult life can be? Pressure can be good if I let it press me into Him. Even then I must remember, trusting God doesn’t change my circumstances. It changes me. And that is what it’s all about!

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