Peace. It beckons from the palm-shaded beach of a travel ad. It is promised by every spa and every resort. It is pursued with a passion so strong that people run themselves ragged trying to attain it. But what if there were an easier way?
Take a momentary pause; stop and breathe.
Read some words of comfort and apply them to your life. Walk down the narrow path and find your way to perfect peace.
The Antidote to Stress
It's that time of year again when we eat too much good food and reflect on the things for which we are thankful. So in the spirit of the season, let me give you some 'food' for thought. . .
I am thankful for our financial stresses of a couple of years ago, when we had much debt and little income, because it taught me to rely on God and not a paycheck.
I am thankful that we went through our marital troubles that came close to divorce, because it taught us both how to be better spouses, and that a successful marriage includes a 3rd person - Jesus.
I am thankful that God drags me (sometimes kicking and screaming) out of my comfort zones, because it's then that I grow emotionally and spiritually.
I am thankful that God doesn't answer all my prayers with a 'yes' because it means that I must have deeper faith to trust that He knows what's best, even when it hurts.
And I'm thankful for my church family, who are a great stand-in for my bio-family back in Canada. Doing life with you is truly a blessing and a joy.
Of course I'm thankful for all the good things God has blessed me with, but it's the trials and tribulations that grow a person's character and faith.
What are you thankful for today?
So often our thoughts focus inwards and while this makes perfect sense (after all most of our stimulus comes from our own senses, our own thoughts) it also traps us inside ourselves. We don't notice things or people around us because we are focused on our own issues – all else is excluded. This is the first step on the path to stress, selfishness, loneliness, and depression.
The antidote is to step outside yourself and your (likely very real) problems. Begin by looking for anything for which you can be grateful and then move on from there. Look for those around you who need help and help them.
It isn't easy to break the cycle but it can be done.
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Phil 4:6 (NLT)
Glenn and Sandy spent 10+ years leading the prayer ministry at Live Oak Church in Flower Mound, Texas. In addition, Sandy led the women's ministry while Glenn was an elder and part-time preacher. During that time God used their unique talents and gifts in the weekly devotionals that they wrote for Live Oak. Now, having returned to home to Canada, they are sharing some of those lessons with us.