With or without a clear picture of our calling, self induced stress can be detrimental to the cause.  Stress can bog us down with worries and underlying distractions.  We can become so focused on everything else that needs to be done or all of the minute details that still need to be wrapped up.  In doing so we have a tendency to take a small grain of sand and allow it to irritate us to the point of blistering our goals.

In the same way, stress can also be a motivator.  There are some people that, rather than allowing a single grain of sand stick inside their shoe, which results in a blister, exude characteristics more like an oyster.  When a grain of sand is lodged inside an oyster, it will work it round and round to get rid of the irritation.  But, instead of a negative result, the grain of sand becomes a beautiful pearl.

I have a bad habit of allowing myself to become bogged down by different stresses in my life.  I have my day to day responsibilities that come with maintaining a home.  I have dishes that always seem to pile up, furniture that constantly needs to be dusted, and carpet that just won’t stay clean.  I also have a young child that still relies on me for everything, from feeding to changing her diaper, to basic entertainment or soothing.  Then there are the other responsibilities: being a youth leader, a mentor, an assistant coach.  These are my jobs, but I have to ensure that they do not control my life.  You see, if I were to allow my responsibilities to constantly control me, I would find myself constantly overwhelmed.  There are usually a couple times a month where I find myself stuck in the middle of everything I have to get done that I can’t see through the fog that surrounds me.  It is in those moments that I remind myself that I serve a God who is bigger than all of my problems and responsibilities.  You see, I love being a stay at home mom for my daughter; it is one of the biggest blessings that I have.  I am grateful that my husband has a steady enough job that I can do that as well as focus on other projects, such as my writing and my volunteering with our church youth.  God has given me these blessings, that include certain responsibilities and he has promised not to give us more than we can handle.

Out of curiosity I did a Google search on stress.  One of the first pages was from WebMD.  On their site, there is a life change stress test.  Again, curiosity got the better of me and I took the five question test.  It was comprised of different circumstances (at work, home, health, finances, etc.) that typically affect ones stress level.  To no surprise, I was told that I have a high stress level and need to take action!  What is so amusing is that by taking action to reduce stress, we can in turn create greater stress.  Life changes and we have to learn to adjust.  I have a new baby and have recently stepped down from my job.  Those are major changes, but they are all within what I feel God has called to do.  Because it is within God’s plan, I am able to take those major life changes and hand them back to Him.  He is able to take my load and burdens so that rather than having to trust a website for help, I have a heavenly Father who loves me so much that He can eliminate the harmful stress, even in the worst situations.

3 thoughts on “Stress

  1. i always took issue with the phrase, “god will never give you more than you can handle”. isn’t that what the word “martyr” exists to describe? “people who were given too much, namely death”. and when i googled that phrase plus “bible”, i only found similar passages:

    Matthew 11:28-30 (not only is the chapter so full of metaphor and literary device that it’s difficult to know what to take literally, but the context to me is jesus saying “i am the one foretold by prophets, look at my miracles, woe to those who still don’t believe, the choice should be clear by now and the punishment will be worse than what sodom got” and not “you’ll never be overburdened with drama drama”)

    1 Corinthians 10:13 (this deals with temptation, not suffering)

    Psalm 22 (the beginning of the chapter, not the end where he’s desperate and withering)

    also, as one “yahoo answers” theologian put it: “If God didn’t give you more than you can handle, then you would never have the need to go to Him with your burdens.” an interesting point, no?

    glad the stress isn’t gettin to ya! i bet sometimes kyle is your grain of sand and samara your pearl = )

    • I was debating whether or not to reply. Becoming a martyr in not being given more than you can handle, because the phrase does not directly relate to your physical sense of well being. It is steeped in faith that we can never suffer more than Jesus did and in that God will help us to grow stronger in our faith if in times of trial we come to Him instead of leaning on our own understanding and strength.
      In regards to your evaluation of several scripture passages, you can’t read them looking for something to be wrong. For example, you mention the verses in 1 Corinthians. Yes, it does directly relate to temptation, but often times, temptation is equivalent to suffering. When we allow temptation to overwhelm us, we must then deal with the consequences that follows (some would call this karma, whereas I don’t believe in karma but I do know that there are consequences for the things that I do wrong). This is the same reason that the original word used in the Bible where we translate it as patience means long-suffering.
      While I do think the statement you listed at the end is a good one to ponder, I also know the answer lies in that God does not make bad things happen. He has given us the freedom to choose for ourselves and because we live in a fallen world (you can read that as hell on earth), bad things are going to happen to “good” people. It is how we handle ourselves in the smallest of situations. I don’t just go to God when I feel like my world is falling apart. I go to Him as I would a best friend and confidant. I live life with Him as my guide. That is why I know that no matter what happens to me, I can have faith in my God, even to the point of death.

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