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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not Stressed at All

I've been feeling stressed, harried, and sad this work week. It really doesn't follow anything going on in my life or the weather--in fact, life is great and the weather is blissful these days. I can only conclude that this discordant mood of mine is coming from spiritual sources, and they don't have my best interests at heart.

I think it started when I turned on the television in the morning on Monday and heard news reports about crime and travesties of justice, people believing lies about Jesus Christ and denials of God's plan. After a barrage of such things, the world begins to sound...well, depressing. And defiant. And really hostile to innocence. It's enough to stress out compassionate souls like myself, and it makes me sad, too, because this is not the kind of society that God blesses.

A God who made this can surely fix everything!
However, I am seeing that dwelling on this is the wrong reaction to bad reports on the airwaves. When we feel the distress of the world, it's a perfectly normal reaction to be dismayed--if it was up to us to overcome it, that is--but God has called me and you to seek Him to find supernatural contentment in the midst of chaos. In Jesus' words, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11: 28, 29 NIV).

The problems in this world are huge. Some of them may be insurmountable, in fact. Still, God is stronger and bigger than all of those problems.  We can find rest in Him because we can let Him be the one who makes everything "okay." Let me say that again...God makes everything work out; without Him, we would be in a constant tumbling state of chaos, but with Him, we can lie back and rest without knowing the future (Romans 8: 28), like a kid on a train.

We can trust Him to protect us, because He has proven Himself trustworthy. The Bible is full of miracles I could describe again for you here, but much more immediate are the miracles we fail to notice every day, from the rising of the sun to the meals we eat. We are blessed; God is keeping us every moment of every day, even when we aren't looking for Him or thanking Him for it. I know it is Him because there is nothing else big enough or powerful enough in knowledge or human power or natural might that can bring order out of chaos! If He could establish order among the careening planets to bring us day and night, spring and harvest in their times, He is capable of fixing the problems in the world today!

So, returning to my initial point, I see this bad mood that settles over my day after I hear bad news as unnecessary and basically silly. I know a good God, who is also great.  My problem is not that the problems that dismay me are too big. No, my problem is that I have a faith that is too weak, and needs refreshing. When I feel this way, I need to spend some time in prayer and reading the Bible, which is filled with God's supernatural reassurance.  After all, He already saw the future I'm facing now.  He's not worried. He's not stressed out, so why should I be?

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23: 1-4 NIV
P.S. As I was writing this post, I tuned in to my free Pandora account and heard these songs, which helped me.  If you are, like me, in a "discordant" bad mood today, I think they might help you as well. God bless and keep you!

Fountain of Youth, 4Him
Wonderful Maker, Jeremy Camp
Hallelujah, Mike's Chair
Window with a View, 4Him
What Life Would Be Like, Big Daddy Weave
While I'm Waiting, John Waller
Lord Move, or Move Me, FFH