Jeremiah 17:8-9 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Stress- what a pregnant word, full of all sorts of issues that wind us, twist us, and bind us often into someone unrecognizable as a Christian. Twenty-first century living propagates this phenomenon called stress as simply a part of modern life. So what are humans to do about this thing called stress? I love Paul’s words from God to us in Philippians 4:6 ” be careful (anxious, full of thoughts of the cares of this life) for nothing”. Only an in-depth word study of this complete Scripture reveals God’s infallible truth in what He says to us. In plain language He admonishes us not to stress, come to Him in prayer and conversation about everything- yes, everything that is on your heart, everything that is troubling you and unsettling to you or around you.
Fifteen years ago, I had cancer twice in one year. In the first incidence, I watched my sweet husband be so strong for me. But on cancer’s return trip, I had to watch him be strong in the face of what seemed to be certain death for his wife. That scene was hard to watch. We were both scared and felt helpless. I knew he had already watched his mother die of cancer, and I did not want to be another person who had died on him. Thankfully, God had a plan. He came in at the darkest moments of our lives and sent a respected man of God to us. We all prayed and God moved. He healed me completely of all the cancer even in my blood work as noted by my physician who said that it was as if I had not ever had it.
Since then, I have witnessed God do so many great and mighty works in my life, so why can’t I let go of the stressful areas of my life now? I know who God is and I know what He is capable of doing, so why the faith hang up? Where have I missed the mark? Where and how has all this stress crept into my life? A close look at Luke 10:41 shows me a woman named Martha, who like me also knew Jesus, but was troubled by many things. Imagine the scene, Jesus in your living room with stress and fear, and doubt beating at your spiritual door! That does not seem possible, but there it is in black and white on the pages of my Bible. His words to us here were also pregnant. Jesus does not take sides with either of these sisters, but instead invites Martha to come sit as Mary does to consume the best meal-His word.
Taking time out daily to sit at the feet of Jesus in my private time will keep the peace, drive out fear, stress (1Peter 5:7), worry, and anxiety in our lives. I think Jesus is reminding me that I MUST make time alone with Him a priority for my life IF I desire to live the abundant life HE promises. Without it, I won’t make it. A sobering thought I must admit, but oh so necessary. It is high time that we, as women of God, stand up and are accounted as who Jesus intends for us to be in the kingdom of God. We are to walk the path to show others the way. God knows each of us and what is in our hearts, so let’s allow Him to purge us, heal us, and fill our hearts with that which is the best for us- Him. Let Him pour into you daily that which is necessary for each day. Then, we will have something truly solid to stand on in times of stress and trouble without crumbling under the pressures of life.
Psalm 22:8, 11 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him; Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Psalm 23 as well.