What do you do in times of trouble? When the world seems to have spun off its access, and you aren’t sure what comes next? In times of conflict or stress, we all have one of two tendencies: fight or flight.
Those who flee will tend to run away – sometimes physically, but most often emotionally. We will do everything that we can to get rid of the feelings of stress – eat, escape into a book or TV, ignoring the problem…the list is long.
Those who fight on the other hand, seem to do well with adrenaline – they might use their words, lose their temper, move great mountains to get things done. One of the less obvious ways of fighting is to be a ‘figurer outer’. We will tend to analyze the problem from morning to night, anticipating every possible solution, hoping we can make it go away!
The really creative people are those who manage to combine the two stress responses. When they face a stress that is just too great, they might stir up trouble in another area of their life in order to be able to channel the adrenaline into something they feel they can conquer. Or they might start a new project, giving themselves a productive outlet for all that pent up energy. (I can really do a lot of cleaning when I’m avoiding something!)
Fight and flight are built into our makeup, and have their purpose. But when we are driven by feelings, and don’t respond out of love, neither of these is healthy for us, or our relationships. When we are in stress, we have to find a firm rock to stand on in the midst of it. That rock is Jesus.
How do you handle stress? How do you really turn things over to Jesus?
Not very long ago, I got to that point where I needed to again assess – am I just complaining, or am I really expecting God to work?
I have discovered over the years that sometimes I get to the point where I pray for other people, but fail to pray for myself. I need to sit myself down and determined to talk to God about things every day – not just about other people’s things, but about my stuff.
After a year of job rejections, statistics tell us that as many as 8% of the population have just given up. There is always more than one way to look at a situation. I believe this time in history is a chance for us to restore our foundations and get ready for our next time of building. Every time of rebuilding has to be preceded by a time of demolition, cleanup and restoration of the foundational structures. Sometimes you wonder if you are going to get squished under the rubble. This is a time to find encouragement and a new perspective.
David learned to encourage himself towards God in times like this:
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.