Winter + Montana = pediatrician visits 3 weeks in a row. Work deadlines + sick children = high stress. And that, my friends, adds up to a coat most of us don’t wear real pretty.
Personally, I’ve caught myself having crazy arguments with the committee that sometimes camps out in my head – the one that points out every mistake I’ve ever made and is sure that whatever I put my hand to will fail. This super helpful committee is sure to point out all the things that the future holds which terrify me. This is the corner stress can back me into: the one where I’m wearing decades of crusty old guilt and carrying responsibility for a future that may never occur.
Maybe your ugly stress coat finds you lashing out at people or fixating on having a spotless bathroom or seeking affection from some inaccessible hero.
I don’t know. What I’m hearing from God recently, though, is that whichever particular unseemly corner we default to: we don’t have to remain there. Nor need we pack around that old heavy coat. These out of control circumstances, these knee-jerk patterns, our weaknesses, what they reveal about us. Let’s not remain hiding there, ok? None of this is a surprise to the Creator of the universe. God sees us there – saw us there long ago – and He did the heavy lifting. Jesus came to live among us and humbled himself to the cross. That power that raised Jesus from the dead? It saves us. It does more than that, the same power gives us everything we need for life.
Let’s preach the truth to ourselves and encourage one another. When high stress threatens and we feel ourselves reverting back to patterns we would rather not: let’s remind each other that God’s grace and peace are ours in abundance through the heart-knowledge of God and Jesus.
So, as this new week draws ever closer, let’s welcome all that it entails together with God’s grace and peace. “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the heart-knowledge of God and Jesus. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature,” Peter tells the Church in his second letter.
If you are dreading the week’s inception (even with this pep-talk and verses) may I encourage you to share your fears with someone? If it’s easier, tells us about it by commenting below, but if you have a real-live-person you can reach out to and hear their voice or hold their hand, may I suggest using every bit of God’s power you need to reach out directly?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance this week, dear friends.