Friday, February 8, 2008

LIVING IN A ROOM FULL OF DYNAMITE

LIVING IN A ROOM FULL OF DYNAMITE


“Life is like living in a room full of dynamite with a monkey running around with a blowtorch. It is not a matter of IF but just WHEN.”

Is that saying not true when it comes to evaluating the stress and difficulties in our lives? Each of us can honestly say that we are in one out of three places:

1. We have just come thru a difficult/stressful time
2. We are currently in a time of difficulty and stress
3. We are getting ready to face a difficult and stressful situation

In last week’s YOUR OPINION MATTERS on the WOMEN TAKING A STAND BLOGSPOT, the poll entitled, “What would cause you the greatest stress?” revealed that we as Christians are stressed in one way or another. Over 50% of those who voted responded that the greatest stress they would feel would be when they were called into the bosses office and asked to close the door. The security of our future seemingly stresses us out.

I am overwhelmed by the absence of personal peace and the level of misery that many Christians are willing to live under. Christians are not hesitant or embarrassed to declare the following:

“I am under stress” “I am very unhappy”
“I am pretty anxious” “I just can’t get along with her/him”
“I am worried” “I am afraid”
“I am so angry”

In the world, mental health experts will tell us that the above conditions are socially and culturally caused and that relief can be found in the world. Places such as the casino, or a pub is where some are looking for peace and stress release. In such places, we are seeking solace and acceptance in a bottle of liquor, in illegal drugs, illicit sex and anything that will give us a quick “fix”.

However, Jesus clearly tells us that it is His intention for us to move through this world peacefully and cheerfully, untroubled and unafraid as long as we look to Him to enable us.

JOHN 14:27 “ Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

This kind of peace that Jesus is speaking of, is only available from one source. It is the only source that is real and that will be everlasting. With a relationship with Christ, a peace that surpasses all understanding will overcome your spirit. Stress and difficulties will still come your way, but you will be able to handle it in a different perspective.

PRAYING PAST DIFFICULTIES

How can prayer replace worry with peace?

1. PLACE YOURSELF AROUND A CALM AND GOOD LISTENER

Avoid being around someone who mirrors your anxiety. Examples of such comments as:
“Oh my goodness you’re doomed! What are you going to do?” Or “that’s nothing, let me tell you about the time I was fired right at Christmas!” Strategically place yourself around a friend who is genuine and a good listener.

365 times in the Scriptures we can find the words. “fear not” which is almost always followed by “for I am with you”. Jesus is a friend that is genuine and a good listener! God’s presence will change your outlook.

2. PEACE FOLLOWS PRAYER

Prayer is dialogue. Prayer is not just about talking but more importantly listening. Prior to going into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled.

Matthew 26:39 He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

After spending time in prayer, Jesus returned from the Garden ready to face His betrayer and to face the cross. The change that occurred I believe was not so much in what Jesus said but more importantly what Jesus heard.

(read more about this in Mark 14:32-42)

The peace that Jesus received did not come from the prayers of His disciples that were left outside the Garden. They became weary and Jesus found them asleep instead of praying. The peace that Jesus obtained came from His personal time of communing with God.

Paul’s prescription for worry or anxiety requires the one who is anxious to pray. Certainly, we are encouraged to have others pray for us in our time of need but the verse in Philippians 4:6,7 reminds us that the “peace of God which transcends all understanding” is a result of the prayer by the one in need.

The peace of the Lord...
• does not come from the prayer request
BUT
• rather the prayer result.

Stress is not something new. What kind of stress would this have brought you?

• God asking you to build an ark for all the animals because a flood was coming. Nobody will believe you or support you, but build it for the world is going to be wiped out except for you and your family

• God fulfilling His promise to you to give you a child, even though you are 90 years old.

• God telling you to take your people and walk out in the sea and He will part the waters to allow you to cross over.

• Your spouse telling you to just curse God and die, and then losing your family, your home. Everything!

Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”

Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6 are not condemning of worry but rather a prescription for dealing with worry.

What have you stressed about today?

How much dynamite is in your room?

You can alleviate your stress by following Paul’s instructions. I encourage you to purpose in your heart to be a WOMAN WHO TAKES A STAND by:

1. Praying with thanksgiving
and
2. Striving to have less anxiety and stress in your day.

Have a wonderful and (stress free) week!
Laurie

YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please take time to vote in this week’s poll, “Most recently in which of the following situations would you have gladly taken a ‘DO-OVER’?” Your opinion DOES matter!

3 comments:

Beloved MaMa said...

Hi there!!! I saw you on the Christian Women Online interview list :0) It's fun running into other AG bloggers! Did you know that there is an "AG" blog ring? you can see the link on my site. An AG pastor's wife put it together...Blessings!

Mary Beth said...

I happened on your blog from beloved mama and guess what?

I went to CBC with Rusty and Dorinda. I found her blog and commented. SO COOL how God reconnects through the craziest ways.

We now are in ministry in Michigan.

Give Dorinda a big hug on Sunday and tell her it is from Mary Beth Bradshaw~!!!

Have a great weekend.

Laurie Adams said...

Wow! God really works in mysterious ways. I will tell Dorinda hello. Thanks for looking in on my blog page. Blessings to the Michigan folks... GO WOLVERINES! We are former "northerners" and huge fans of Michigan....God Bless.