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Sunday, April 19, 2009
Worry & Stress
Crazy Love - pg. 42
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.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.
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?
I am not ordinarily a worried or stressed person. I do live most of my life in joyful anticipation of what the Lord is going to do in me and through me and in my circumstances, and in my family and through them and in their circumstances. However, this year I have had changes in both my worry level and my stress level.
My worry level has gone up this year. Due to my job loss, and lack of anticipated income, I have found myself more concerned about finances than I have in many years. The interesting thing is, that for MANY years, we lived on MUCH less and we HAD to depend on the Lord for our finances on a monthly basis. However, for the past 5 years we have had our security in the extra paycheck rather than the Lord. We have gotten comfortable, secure, and relaxed financially. I believe, however, that no matter what our income is ... we need to get out of our comfortableness and financial contentment. I believe we are called to keep giving, to keep "doing" for the Lord, to keep blessing others with our finances until we MUST depend on the Lord. He desires to be our provider. Yes, sometimes he blesses us with an abundance financially ... but I believe his intent in this is to have us be able to GIVE even more. Even though we now live on MUCH less than the majority of the people that we know ... even our family needs to find ways to live on less ... and to give more.
On the flip side ...
My stress level has gone WAY down this year ... as medically evidenced by a MAJOR drop in my blood pressure. Three months after I lost my job, the top number of my blood pressure had dropped 15 points. And, 3 months later it had dropped another 20 points. Wow! (With no weight loss, change in eating habits, or addition of exercise.) So, while my worry level has gone up a bit (due to finances), my overall stress has gone down significantly (even with the added stress of the adoption transition).
The Lord knew ...
... that I needed to stay home this year.
... that I needed to be able to focus on
my kids and my homeschooling.
... that I needed to once again turn all
of my financial worries over to Him
... that I needed to re-learn that
He alone needs to be our provider.
Have you ever considered the fact that
worry and stress are evidence of arrogance?
I hadn't really put it in those terms before ...
but it makes sense.
I want to throw off all remaining
fragments of worry and stress.
I want to run ...
free of any arrogance.
I want to run this race of life with ...
complete faith and trust in the Lord.
I want to celebrate the fact that the Lord has called me
and my family to a crazy and radical lifestyle of living
each and every day walking hand and hand with HIM.
Won't you join me?