Thursday, January 22, 2015

From my Heart: Midlife Stress

On last Thursday's post, Midlife Journey, I shared from my heart about the path we take through our 30's, 40's and 50's.  During the next few Thursdays, I want to touch on several things that God has put on my heart regarding this journey. 

Today, I want to talk about stress.  In this world today, stress is very common.  Everything is so fast paced and rushed.  There is really no time to sit and ponder; or so we think.  However, stress is very dangerous to our health.  Not only our physical health is affected by stress, but our emotional and mental health as well.  I think often at this midlife age, we sometimes feel the weight of our world pressing down on our shoulders. We may have teenagers and adult children that we are helping guide.  We may be helping raise our grandchildren, or even having a surprise child ourselves.  Our parents are also getting older and facing new health problems.  We start realizing just how fragile our life really is.  Often when we let stress settle in on us, we turn to control to "fix" our life.  We try to control the outcome of everything.  We try to "wear many hats" in order to please and take care of everyone.  Recently, while in Tulsa, I went in a thrift store to shop.  As I walked in the door, my eyes fell on a sign the manager had put up displaying all the sales of the day.  At the top of the sign it read:  You can either have control or trust, but not both.  Wow!  I pondered that.  I would much rather have trust IF I had that trust and faith in someone or something that would not let me down.  Fortunately, we do have someone like that; God.   Following are some scriptures to remind us all that God does not mean for us to carry worry and anxiety:

Cast ALL your anxiety on Him because He cares for you!  1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

There is no doubt about it, stress will come!  However, we have a choice in how we respond to this stress.  Do we trust in God and turn to Him for strength?  Or do we choose to panic and try to "fix" things in our own power?  I want to encourage you to choose trust over control today.  If there is a  scripture pertaining to trust and faith that encourages you, please share it below in the comment box.