In the Midst of Trials

I did a test once that tested your stress level by the events of the past year.  Getting married. Buying a home or car.   Having a child.  Getting a promotion.  Or various and sundry other events that are not so friendly.  Crazy thing was that I had had a really good year but the things that I had gone through still left me with a very high stress level and yet, I didn’t feel stressed out.  Happens all of the time.  Even in situations where our stress level isn’t very noticeable we just cruise along in a fairly non-reactive state towards the stress in our life as if….all was peace and goodness.

For myself I’ve lived so much of my life at a high rate of stress that I am rather calm throughout the stressful times.  I am rather focused and get things done.  I’m not rattled or struggling with getting out of bed or needing psych meds.  I’m not sure I would know what it felt like to be stress free or actually have a low stress life.  I’m so used to the high stress that I’m kinda clueless about anything else.  And it’s not for a lack of trying to live a low stress life.

I think that part of it comes from the training one gets when they’re a believer in Christ.  We go through stuff and we learn how to pray through it.  We learn how to see situations from Gods perspective and find joy in the chaos.  When one gets close to the Lord there’s an ability to stand on scripture and listen to the Father as we go through the rough patches.  I personally have learned to live non attached to people or things so that I don’t get too wrapped up in them and lose sight of the Lord and lose sight of myself.  I’ve lived that way for a very large portion of my life and it didn’t really work very well.  Talk about stress!  I was taking on my stress and those around me’s stress too!  I was scattered and unreliable and uncertain.

Bringing Christ into my life has been such an amazing game changer.  Life with Christ vs life without Him is like ying and yang, light and dark, positive and negative. With Christ trials have a certain taste and excitement because I know that God is going to do something mighty through the trial that I am going through.  Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom.  Even our worst of times and our most trying failures God will use to His glory.  I can look at things as if they are a mess and there is no light at the end of the tunnel or I can look at things through the word of God spread out on the pages of the Bible to see that my mess is His message.  The smile I wear during crisis is to His glory.  We are His workmanship and able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

I’m sure we can all look back on our lives and see times when we were devastated with disappointment.  There seemed to be no consoling us.   But if we examine how that devastation turned into this then that then … amazing changes started coming into my life.  I started to notice a pattern as God moved through my life. Believe me, there have been times when I thought that God couldn’t love me that much. The things He was doing were just so huge, so impossible, so unimaginable that it had to be God because there was no way for it to be happening in the natural world.

But God loves us all, we collectively, are His bride.  His love surpasses anything any human being could give to us.  That’s a tough one for us to grasp.  We are so carnal that we can’t see past the physical phases of our selves as if love is a physical thing when in fact showing love can be a physical act but love touches us much deeper than our flesh.  The world has made the physical the end all.  The lying devil knows what he’s doing.  He knows what God put in us to naturally attract and has been playing games with our hormones, hearts, flesh and heads about it ever since.  Somehow people feel like they are less than if they can’t perform in this area and so it’s no surprise that people wouldn’t want to give up on the love they have – at least placing it second – to embrace an unseen untouchable sexually God.

Sometimes I wonder how many Christians are wandering around this earth thinking that their trip to church on Sunday morning is enough of a relationship with God to get by, but could a marriage work based on one hour a week?  People have based marriage proposals on less.

As we rev up for our holiday season we have the right to decide how much stress we have.  We can ride the waves of celebration and find our joy in the craziness or we can just let another holiday be a hassle to us.  We can say yes to being Thankful and the incredible birth of our Savior or we can look into the next 6 weeks with dread.

Life is too short and there are too many amazing moment we all can choose to embrace or not.

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice!