I sat in a class the other day, the topic of discussion was expectations, roles and responsibilities. Someone shot up her hand and asked “If someone keeps hurting me, what are they expecting? should I give them a taste of their own medicine? Perhaps hurt them back so that they can learn a lesson?” “It’s a choice” Said Anne the facilitator. “You see, if I ask my husband to give me the pen in his hands, and he throws it at me, I can choose to throw it back at him when I’m done, or I can simply choose to walk to where he is and hand him the pen”
We often times have no control over what happens to us but we most certainly have a say in how we choose to react to what is happening in our lives. Jesus looks at His disciples and openly tells them in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The question therefore is not if we will experience trials and stressful moments in this walk of life, because it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. The question is how will we choose respond?
There is no such thing as a stress-free life. So often, you see reminders and warnings about the harmful effects of stress, scaring you into believing that the only option is to work to eliminate stress completely. The sooner we come to terms with the fact that stress is inevitable, the sooner we can release ourselves from the pressure to chase a life without it. A life worth living is always going to bring hard decisions, painful turning points, learning moments, and hard-fought lessons.
God puts us in places that are stressful in-order for Him to achieve the work He wants to do in that place and in our lives as well. Psalm four records a cry of a distressed king David crying out to the Lord. In his stressful situation he chose to stay woke and call upon the Lord. He understood that prayer is God’s love language.
So stress is not really the enemy! The enemy is the smallness we feel in those stressful places. Embracing stress, instead of retreating from it can turn those high-pressure situations into positive experiences. You can use stress to your advantage. Stress isn’t the bad guy, when we embrace it we can actually convert it into usable, helpful energy.
1 Peter 5:8 [NLT] Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
The devil never takes a break; he never goes on vacation. Even at the very last minute when you think you've conquered, he still tries to find a way to sneak in his devious plans. Believers, we've been called to be alert, like soldiers on a battlefield, we have been called to make that deliberate decision to watchful because despite and in-spite of everything that happens, God never stops goding.
Child of God, Stay Woke