Saturday, April 21, 2012
Article: Five Steps to Get a Grip on Your Stress
Five Steps to Get a Grip on Your Stress
By Karen Jordan
How can we get a grip on our stress, when life is heavy and hard to take?
The book of Lamentations offers a clear word about dealing with stress. "When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear” (Lam. 3:28-29 MSG).
1. Go off by yourself. Jesus knew the importance of spending time alone with His Father. When He needed to listen, He would pull away from everyone. After Jesus fed the 5,000, He “climbed the mountain so (He) could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night” (Matt. 14:23).
2. Enter the silence. When we seek God, the accuser tries to distract us with fear, like in the story of Hannah. Hanna’s husband had two wives, and her husband’s other wife taunted her, accusing God for Hannah’s inability to conceive. Even when Hannah prayed, the accuser attacked. “… Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk”…” (1 Sam. 1:13).
3. Bow in prayer. God promises that if we call on His Name, He'll listen. “… And if we're confident that he's listening, we know that what we've asked for is as good as ours” (1 John 5:15).
4. Don't ask questions. My questions often interfere with my communication with God—I’m talking, instead of listening. When Jesus taught His disciples, He asked them on several occasions, “Are you listening to me? Really listening?” (Matt.11:15).
5. "Wait for hope to appear." The psalmist speaks of “waiting,” “I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip” (Ps. 40:1-2).
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matt. 6:34).
So, remember, "When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear" (Lam. 3:28-29).
Karen Jordan is best known for telling the stories that matter most. She has multiple writing credits and trains other writers as well. Contact her for speaking events, writing assignments, and interviews at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.karenjordan.net.