Sometimes we can’t avoid stress, but when we can we feel the benefits immediately. One way is to meditate on God’s Word or spend some quiet time with Him, without distractions. Let’s do it!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Stress versus peace
During a strong wind one day, a branch on one of my lilac trees blew around the Baltimore oriole feeder. The leaves wrapped themselves so tightly around it that the orioles could not feed there. The male put up a fuss for almost two hours—until I could get the feeder untangled and refilled. I didn’t hear a peep afterwards.
We sometimes act like that oriole. When something goes wrong in our lives, we stress about it until it's fixed. For instance, while we're on our way to an important meeting we find our car battery dead. Or, a child must be taken to the emergency room during an ice storm. We may become displaced because of a nearby refinery fire. My daughter and granddaughter still cannot return home following the Husky Refinery explosion in Superior, due to toxic reactions.
Every day we can find a new problem to face. It doesn't matter whether it's something beyond our control or whether we've brought it on ourselves, we’re tempted to holler and grumble and scold. Our fussing may even be directed at God. "Why did you let this happen, God?" we ask. "Why can't you fix it?"
When we react negatively, we bring stress and anxiety to our minds. That affects our mood and our body. And the big question is, how will we face our problems?
The Bible teaches that we are not to be anxious in anything. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything … with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6.) The Bible also says that those who are meek will enjoy great peace. They will find that the tangles of adversity disappear. Those who are not meek, on the other hand, those who put up a fuss and stress out, will reap the fruit of their negative emotions. The tangles, like those around the oriole feeder, will remain and, perhaps, grow tighter than ever. How we respond to glitches or problems in our busy lives will determine the amount of peace we will experience while going through the problem.
Lord, You know how hard it is for us, in our mortal bodies, to be thankful in all circumstances. Yet, You promise that if we do thank You even while we experience glitches or problems, You will give us inner peace. Help us remember to thank You in all things. In Jesus' name, amen.