Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stress ~ A Silent Killer

Eating healthy is only part of the solution to good health. There are other key factors beyond the physical body that need to be addressed. I have learned things I wish I would have known sooner, but in hindsight I can clearly see that life is a continuous journey of learning and all we can do is keep moving forward and doing our best to make progress. No matter what we are battling at this very moment, we have the choice to focus on the struggle before us or to look beyond and see the hope and the light that will surely come if we are patient. Relate the problem that you are dealing with to a terrible storm on the sea and a ship is trying to get back to land, but nothing can be seen ahead. Complete fear could strike with the enormous waves tossing the boat to and fro and heavy rains crashing down upon it. Such fright could make a person lose their course and their journey could end in tragedy. But another who is in the same position, could hold on to hope, they could have faith that somewhere in the distance a glimpse of light will be seen and safety will come. Determination and positivity will drive that person to safety no matter how rocky the journey is. It is our thoughts, our mind that is so powerful. But the more I think about it, it is the Spirit within us that is so powerful and it is this that carries us through and makes us stronger... if we allow it to.

When I was so sick, a doctor pointed out stress management to me, but didn't give any advice on dealing with it which was more frustrating. Now I know, in order to have health, you need to have a sound mind. My life dramatically changed once my thoughts moved to focus on positivity. When I was able to forgive people for the hurtful things they said/did to me I became freer. I found that the negativity I was holding onto was hurting myself more than anyone else. Now, when I look at a battle I am facing I dig into God's Word and read to see what answers He reveals to me. I have found I receive even more answers by simply talking and asking God for guidance directly, through prayer. ("Pray without ceasing." 1Thessalonians 5:17) The stress has lifted off of me. It took awhile for me to realize the stress was one of the main factors of my sickness! I was dwelling on the negative around me which caused me to respond negatively, which caused stress to compile... not the way to healing. It makes me think of the Bible verse where Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." So the more I thought negatively, the more I responded negatively which was actually a sin... and was a big reason why I needed God, to see and walk in His ways. This was and has been the way to healing for me, and it is the way to victory in whatever battle we find ourselves facing. We don't need to focus on the actual struggle in itself but look to the One who will give us victory to overcome. If we are alive we have hope and we are able to hold onto our faith and know that good will come.

God is our loving Father. He wants the best for us. He knows we will face trials, no matter where our faith is at. The thing is the stress, the struggles we face, are an opportunity to put our faith into action. It gives us time to draw nearer to God and to rely on Him to show us through our difficulty. If we didn't face hard times, I believe most of us would never turn completely to Him. I know this is true for me. I had to hit rock bottom physically and emotionally before I grabbed onto Him. It took getting to such a low point for my attention to be put on Him. Now I pray my focus will not change!

Dr. Charles Stanley is an amazing Christian speaker. I could listen to him for hours on YouTube. He has preached about God's Stress Remover and there being only one solution. Stress will continue to tear you down. Whether the conflict or distress is coming from family, friends, money problems, job, environmental factors it has the potential to eat away at you, slowly killing you. Stanley says many doctors are quick to give out prescription drugs, but the one real solution that works is a relationship with God, and I couldn't agree more! Stanley goes on to share that there is only one thing God created that He can have a personal relationship with and that is you and me. We are very special to Him and He wants to reveal His love for us. His desire is a relationship with us. This is where solitude comes in. We have to make time to be alone with God, to talk to Him. We can share what is on our thoughts, although He knows, He knows our desires, He knows everything about us. But we can definitely ask if He can help work out certain situations. We can praise Him for all the gifts He has given us. Once we start thinking of all the things we are blessed with it's kind of hard to even think of wanting more! At least that is where I find myself. The biggest thing about time alone with God is asking Him for guidance, direction in every area of our life. I think our journey would be a lot less complicated if we listened better to Him and allowed Him to be our guide. I know I wouldn't have messed so many things up in the past if God would have been my priority from the beginning and I would have listened! Live and learn...
Stanley pointed out that time with God isn't just reading the Bible. I think it's great to read and learn about Him and past events. The Word is full of inspiration and hope for situations we face today, but a personal relationship is needed. God is waiting and listening to hear from you. It is amazing when He answers! He is definitely worth your undivided attention! Something else that was good in Stanley's talk was that he gave 11 benefits of solitude with God... these were a few of the points that stood out to me:
1. Makes busy days much more fruitful.
2. God repairs the damage when we give Him time. We become free. He refuels us.
3. He equips us to face the tough days with confidence.
4. When we are searching for an answer, God will give us a crystal clear answer when we are listening!
5. Protects our health. He is our real physician, everyone else is practicing! (So true!)

To listen to the entire talk on God's Stress Remover, click HERE
Make time for God, stay positive & be blessed!

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