We need to learn to “rest” instead of “stress” don’t we? It seems like almost everyone I talk to is under stress of some type or the other. How about you?
When I’m stressed I don’t sleep well, I tend to eat everything in sight, and I get pretty cranky and irritable.
But I’ve learned through the years that a HUGE part of me being stressed is that I’m not staying connected to the Vine like I should be (Take That Bold Step).
Years ago when we were going through the whole college thing with our special needs son Jeffrey (i.e. Last Surgery), my stress-level was over-the-top, but God got me back on track by having me undergo surgery before our big trip.
Yes, I learned big lessons from that one.
But alas, my mommy-heart seems to break anew every time Jeffrey comes home to visit.
Thankfully, my Father knows exactly when I start to go overboard with worry, and He always patiently gets me turned back in the right direction.
I remember one year after Jeffrey had just finished his junior year of college. All of a sudden everything started to fall apart because of bad choices, and he had to move away from the home he was living in and ended up being placed him in a new home in Phoenix – too far away to commute to finish up his schooling.
He came home to visit that Christmas, and my heart was torn in two. When we picked him up at the airport he informed us that both of his power chairs had been broken for almost a year, and the manual chair he had traveled home in was filthy.
Plus he was now on 5 different medications – and he didn’t even know what they were for!
His legs were stiff because he hadn’t been getting any physical therapy, he arrived wearing a bib, and his hair didn’t look too clean. What had happened to our bright boy who moved away to college to fulfill his dreams?
Yet his face was gleaming, and he said he really loved the home he was now living in.
Mommy wasn’t handling it well, however. Sleep didn’t come for a long time that first night, as I lay there thinking of how I really needed to “take-the-bull-by-the-horns” and start ruffling some feathers. Yet as I prayed, I kept feeling like the Lord was just telling me: “rest.”
But what did that mean?
The next day I was doing my Bible reading, and came to Acts 2 where Peter is preaching, telling the Israelites in v. 25-30 about King David and his firm faith. David said he “would not be shaken” even when things didn’t go smoothly. I also came to Jeremiah 31:13, which talks of how God will turn our sadness into joy.
I started praying, “Lord, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
And then came a passage of Scripture I’d memorized years ago: Philippians 4:6-7 – don’t be anxious for anything!!!
For the remaining time Jeffrey was with us that week, I did my best to keep those Scriptures in front of me. I kept praying, “Lord, increase my faith and help me to be focused on You and not on all the events going on.”
One morning I was sitting and thinking (and starting to stress once again – just a wee bit) about Jeffrey and his current living situation. But then I remembered something: Our God is omniscient and omnipresent. There’s no surprises with Him – Jeffrey was living where he was at that time because he was supposed to. Plus, of course, God knew I was going to come to those Scriptures at just the time that I did which helped calm me down.
It was a good wake-up call yet again as to just how important it is to stay in God’s Word, remain in prayer, memorize key passages of Scripture, and trust Him!
So as we end another calendar year, let’s remember that whatever comes our way, it is not a surprise to our Heavenly Father. He’s always with us, and as we stay connected to Him, He will give is the strength, courage and patience to face whatever comes our way.
So let’s just all try to “rest.”