Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm stressed , so excuse me ...

A couple of weeks ago, while reading a Knoxville publication, I caught this short repeat from an article published in July 1991. In March of that year, a law judge in Ewing, NJ was on trial, herself, for stealing two watches. Her psychiatrist was called to testify about the great stress her client had been under. See if any of things rings a bell of familiarity in your life or in your circles: recent car accident, purchased new car, traffic ticket, overworked, asthma in her husband, kidney stones in her husband, couldn't sleep due to husband's breathing machine noise, hot flashes, "ungodly" personal itch, rash, fear of cancers, fear of dental procedures, asthma in her son, mother and aunt ill, organizing parents' 50th anniversary event, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 20 guests (relatives), bought 200 gifts for Hanukkah and Christmas, tried to sell her house herself, suing wallpaper cleaners, had to return recently purchased furniture, and toilet that wouldn't stop running. The psychiatrist claimed that, due to all this stress of life, her client was not able to think clearly "from one minute to the next."

Before a hearty, "Oh, brother" slips through your lips, consider this. It's human nature, our nature, to excuse ourselves because of our hardships in life. I do it. Do you do it? When talking about Christ returning for His own someday, we are warned in Luke not to get too weighed down by the cares of this life .... aka the "stress." We are even urged in Colossians to set our minds on things above, not on things of this world. That's easier said than done.

About a week and a half ago, I woke up with a very painful neck that has radically changed my plans for all the days since then. We had company at the time, I was supposed to teach a Bible Study and a women's event, while preparing for our annual retreat. And, of course, my own family had the ongoing needs of "life's stuff" that don't just go away. The fam has been so helpful, and women of my church have been such a blessing in practical ways, lifting loads that they can, so that I can rest and be still. It's been the Body at work, and it's let my body "not work."

Do you fight the temptation to use the stresses of life as an excuse for bad behavior, rotten attitudes, or failing others?

Life's challenges require adjustments, but they do not provide excuses. Is God really asking too much of us (ME!), to ask us to lift our eyes above the stress of our day and focus on the heavenly? It would be, if it were not for His Spirit in us. He has promised that His grace IS sufficient, and His power will be magnified when we are weak, or when we face the stresses of life. That promise means we can have PEACE, even when our world is under pressure.

By the way, the earthly court didn't buy the "stress excuse" either. The judge with the sticky fingers .... was convicted.

Tomorrow I want to share a favorite passage of scripture, along with some ways I would appreciate your prayers for our Women's Retreat this weekend. I hope you'll stop by to soak in the great truth of God's Word.

Until then, no excuses! May God be our sufficiency today,

5 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Courtney said...

A hearty amen sista! I look forward to tomorrow's post!

I talked about my neck pain and how it affects my "mood" here:

I hope you feel well soon!!!

Julie said...

Thanks Courtney! You - neck pain too? Maybe there's something "bloggable" about stress hitting us where it hurts ... :)
- Julie

Anonymous said...

Jul, thanks for the encouragement. I'll be sure to remember it when I'm stressed! Hope that "pain in the neck" goes away soon. Blessings and love, Jenny

Kristi said...

Take it easy, Miss Julie! I've had back issues on and off, especially since Luke was born, and I often think of you saying once in Cedarville (when your neck was having issues and you were losing your voice) that God was telling you to slow down. Many times I think God throws the brake on my life to make me realize that His grace, and not my strength, is sufficient! :)

Julie Sanders said...

Kristi, still so true! My doctor told me that if we don't take the hint to take a sabbath, ... God will impose a sabbatical. :) Pray for me to be a good listener.