Saturday, March 8, 2014

Day 365 - Day 77: When I'm Stressed

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 77, March 7, 2014
Readings: Psalm 77, Exodus 22:16-31, Exodus 23:1-9 Nehemiah 3, Romans 13

Psychologists say that your true personality comes out when you're stressed. Who you really are. Other times, you can fake it - you could be who you want others to see you as, or who you were raised to be. But when the stinky stuff hits the fan, your true nature comes through. You don't have any mental power left to maintain appearances.

When I'm stressed, I want to be in control. I want to plan and strategize, to optimize the situation to fit my objectives. But what about when I'm not in control? (which really, when am I ever) I can get more and more stressed. I can spiral. And often, I try to grab even more control of the things that I already have lost. Instead of relieving my stress, it only increases. Instead of gaining control of the situation, I lose even more control.

I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the might my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints.

You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
the years long ago. (Psalm 77:1-5)

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy. 
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:11-15)

When I am troubled, I should turn to God. When I don't think I can do it anymore, He is the answer, not me and my scheming. But part of the beauty of God is that he is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. My reassurance is not just in repeating some mantra of how God is good, but remembering and being thankful for the work He has done in my life and the lives of others. Meditating on His good deeds. Recounting the evidence of His faithfulness.

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