2/24/2016

When Life Gets Stressful

Sometimes life feels like a marathon. It runs and runs and runs, and we struggle to catch up. We can't seem to swallow each breath in our lungs as we chase life down. School. Homework. Family. Friends. Extracurricular. Make sure our rooms don't look like zoos. Showers should probably happen. And somehow living with Jesus and resting in Him.



Resting in Jesus. How can we do that when our minds go a thousand thoughts a minute, keeping track of all of the things that we must do? The things things listed above must happen, so how can we rest and find joy at the same time? 

I struggled with this question last week. I felt stressed and weighed down. I had many school related things and decisions to make, and I needed to get it all done before Friday because I led a Disciple-Now all weekend. (More on Disciple-Now later!) 

But God (notice my two favorite words) reminded me of three things that changed my stress into joy. He somehow penetrated my busy mind to give me hope in Christ and rest in His joy. He showed me a different way to go, a way that led me to...

1. Pray

If we desire joy, we must ask for it. I don't think that we realize the humility and simplicity of coming to God with all of our hearts, even the desire for rest or extra strength.

"So I [Jesus] say to you: 'Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Luke 11:9)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)



2. Release the outcomes

Sometimes (more than sometimes), we just can't do it all. But I know a God who can. God makes the days and plans them out. And we simply need to trust in God's sovereignty even when we feel the world racing around us. God's will (not our will) will prevail, let's put our hope in that.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:26-27)

3. Find joy when working hard

Resting in God doesn't mean that we stop working! Rather, we find joy in our work. We receive a renewed vigor because we know that God is with us, breathing into our souls and shaping our days with care.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart as working for the Lord and not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Colossians 3:23-24)

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:11-12)


Emily Freemen in her book Simply Tuesday captures these thoughts beautifully: 

"To know that the work will be completed by the Spirit of God and not by my effort means that I can sit down on the inside even as my hands are fast at work. It means I don't have to keep pace with a fast-moving world even as I am engaged in the activity of it." (page 222)

God invites us to come. Right now, in the rush of life, we can come and rest in Him. Pray, release, and work. And there we will find joy.

Comment below how your week is going. Is it wearing you down? Are you finding joy? What are your thankful for? 

Princess Hannah 

8 comments:

  1. I loved this post! My life has been absolutely insane lately. (As usual). Rehearsals 4/5 times a week, school, blogging, family and friends..it's crazy! But one thing that I've been trying to think about a lot is just how precious time really is, even when it's stressful. Like, yeah, maybe some days I really don't feel like going to that rehearsal or helping out with that dance routine. But every experience is unique, every season of life is unique. We only get it once. So we might as well enjoy it and cherish it, even through the stress. Thanks for this reminder, Hannah:)

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    1. You sound like one of the busiest people I know and yet I can always count on your to comment and interest with the blogging world. How you do that baffles me. Seriously, tell me your secrets.

      But what you said challenged me (in a good way). You are so right that we should treat every day like we won't get it back, because we won't. This doesn't mean doing stuff all day every day but making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Let's enjoy our lives and glorify God!

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  2. beautiful. I hope you will be able to find joy in the Lord during this busy and stressful season of your life <3

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    1. Yes, I pray the same for you! Life isn't really that stressful, but I felt it last week! But on the whole, it isn't too much.

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  3. THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL. AND REFRESHING. AND BASICALLY THANK YOU. I feel the same way, so much. Also side note like HOWWW ARE YOU SO WISE??? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN SUCH SAGACIOUS UNDERSTANDING OF TRUTH I AM JUST WOWED OVER HERE. okay. *deep breaths* thank you for this. it really spoke to my soul in ways that other modes of reassurance hasn't, the past couple of days.

    It's true, resting in God means finding joy in what we do -- we understand more and more why we're doing it! To bring glory and goodness and life to the world. ♥ gAH. this is stunning.

    love,
    abbiee

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    1. Abbiee, your comments make me so glad and joyful!!! I am so encouraged that you found this uplifting, and your compliments... I thank God for the skills that He's given me, and I thank Him for the gifts He's given you too, because you are AMAZING! Like, your encouragement and wisdom and authenticity make me so happy to call you my blogging friend!

      Let's rest in Jesus even as we move for His kingdom!

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  4. Can I like hug this post to death? Because that's what I want to do right now. I'm totally linking to this post in my monthly wrap-up because your wonderful words deserve ALLLLLL the attention.

    YOU'RE AMAZING, HANNAH! <3

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    1. YOUR COMMENT LIT UP MY DAY!!! After reading it, I had to stop and praise Jesus for your kind words and His gifts given to me than in turn gives to other people.

      And I can't wait to read your monthly wrap-up. For some reason, I haven't been reading your posts as of late (I blame schedules), but that will change!

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