The last month has been like a whirlwind and it seems like I have packed a whole year of big events into the last month. They say that among the 6 big stresses of life is moving house, changing jobs, illness, death, injury, increasing financial obligations and Divorce. These areas are what cause the most stress in a person's life and is often the source of someone going into a downward spiral.
Life’s stressful things
I may not have had all of them in the past month, but over the course of 2021 I have experienced a job loss due to Covid’s impact. I have had the surprise news that I have to move again and be out before a looming December. I have started a new job and learnt new skills, finished most of my uni degree and found a house with just 3 weeks left on our lease. Along with that I battled a bit of depression and still have been in the waiting zone for so many of God’s promises, yet to be fulfilled.
I’m no superhero
This is not to say I am some super hero, but actually the opposite. There are all things we battle and bring stress in our life that can either make us or break us. It's not to say we always get to ‘making’ parts without a bit of breaking.
I am reminded at this point of Pauls word’s in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
World ways of handling life stresses
I think it’s in these situations the thing to do is just to tough it out, be stronger, and just grit it out. This is often how the world teaches us to handle these stresses in life. I see so many quotes about this topic and they generally are summarised as you can do it in your strength. While this may be the truth to some extent, I believe that the sustainability of self driven strength is very much limited and the result is weariness.
What is God’s way?
How should we take on these challenges in life as followers of Jesus and his teachings?
As is often the case, the Kingdom’s ways are the reverse of the world's ways. His teachings always confound the wise, yet they are the answer.
In the above piece of scripture we hear the words that God’s power is only made manifest in our weakness. Not what you think you would hear in life’s stressful situations. This method even sounds like nonsense at first hearing. It actually takes an active faith filled mind to even apply such an approach. But what happens if we do take that faith step is quite amazing and my past month is testament to this.
Along with the knowledge that my weakness allows his strength to come through, I also took into my spirit the words “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians Chapter 4 verse 13).
Once again this is not at all about the ‘I’ part but rather to the end part of the verse, in which the truth is Christ is the one who gives us the strength to overcome any of those stressful life scenarios.
I remember in this past month that I often found myself being strengthened by these words and this truth. I reminded myself when I was waning and losing faith that these lessons would carry me through what I was facing.
HE is faithful
Now as I write this article I sit here post the challenges reflecting on those words of scripture as truth. All that was required of me was a little bit of ‘mustard seed’ faith and to trust Christ that he would enable me and strengthen me through each step.
I encourage all of you in this season and a world of increased stress and uncertainty to hand over your strength in favour of His and to trust that He will do the ‘all things’ through you, not by you. I leave you with a piece of scripture that tells us the truth of the God we are in relationship with and he knows all things.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Married to the amazing Liana Monaghan for 13 years, a fellow creative that is just trying to release a little bit of heaven this side of eternity. How do I do that? I draw, paint, love people and surf my way through the streets and beaches of South Australia.