Sometimes frustrations build upon one another like a child spreading honey on bread: he doesn’t realize from first appearances he has covered every minute opening until the bread is soaked. Frustrations just keep pouring on and on… and on. We become like the bread, absorbing each strain, detour, doubt, interruption and exhausted emotion. Until finally we are soaked: DONE.
We are left a messy mess and wondering how we lost our cool, our zest, our positivity, and our confidence in people. Geez… when did honey stop being just sweet and good? We once could handle a little stress.
Well, a little stress that compounds equals a lot of pressure, and there is nothing sweet or healthy about that. We become overly tired, both physically and emotionally. Everything begins to take on a tainted slant, and we find ourselves sliding into polluted views (including our own). We may begin to appreciate ourselves less, even not like ourselves. Yes, uncontrolled stress makes us cruel to self and to others.
Let’s face it, stress will not be going extinct anytime soon. Therefore, the best we can do is eliminate the harmful effects stress has upon us. When we begin to recognize that we are becoming stress-soaked, we can make the decision to put our souls on a nourishment plan. Below are just a few suggestions:
• Vent to Jesus. The Bible is full of stories of people lamenting to the Lord. Jesus can handle the weight of your concerns. He wants to hear from you. He wants to hear your heart. He desires for you to draw near to him.
• Recite aloud from a list of scriptures you have already picked out for stressful times. (Have them written on notecards or highlighted in your Bible.) There is something about reading aloud which tells your anxious voice in your head that it isn’t the most important voice. Allow God’s Living Word to have the final say.
• Don’t remain in isolation. Share with trustworthy folks who have the love of Christ guiding them. Oftentimes folks are afraid of being vulnerable in front of other people. We exist like paper dolls, pretending all is well, never fully having the joy and privilege of really getting to know someone because we are afraid of being transparent (or it is too much effort). What a missed opportunity to be a blessing and to be blessed! Even Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. He understood the importance of fellowship and friendships.
• Don’t lose your praise. Friend, as hard as this may sound, put on a good worship song and make your mouth move. Or look through photographs and thank God for the memories, reminding yourself of God’s faithfulness. Exercise your mind and body, and give thanks that you can do both. Give your touch to someone who needs a hug, and thank God that you can give this small thing to someone who needs to feel love and loved. Yes, lend yourself to God’s use so the devil doesn’t tempt you into being a dormant Christian.
• Do what you can, but don’t you dare do it alone. Invite God in to carry the heavy. He knows your weaknesses. He wants you to be dependent upon him. I never liked the saying, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Nonsense! Sometimes you have more than you can handle. This is when you have to stop trying to do it all yourself and depend on him to do the handling! Then, when you do… well, he will be the only one you will be able to give glory to. Praise be to God.
May we be careful overseers of our stress intake, making sure we allow God to go before our emotions, our schedules, and our expectations. In doing so, we will be less likely to be “DONE” and more likely to be whom God intends for us to be.
Remember, God can handle your messy mess.
SGLY, dear readers.
(Smile, God Loves You.)
Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. You can find her newly released books, “H.E.R.O. Faith” and “Bad Disciples” on Amazon. To submit feedback on SGLY, please contact news@ amtrib.com. Follow Chartier on Facebook: facebook. com/tiffanychartier and Twitter: @tiffanychartier