Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Of Stress and Listening

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28-29

I've not been handling my stress very well lately. Actually, I haven't even been recognizing the fact that I AM stressed. A week ago, my lower back quit on me, due almost entirely to mental overload (aka stress). Well, really, God in His mercy allowed me to injure my back. 'Tis mercy all, right? Each thing He ordains in my life has one goal as far as God's vision for my life is concerned: that I become more conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. I am not saying that at this moment I can see clearly the ways in which God used or is using the back problem to make me more like Jesus. I do know, however, that when I recognize His sovereign goodness in all things, I don't have to - you got it - stress. Obviously, I was not successfully employing this attitude in recent weeks, but the injury and subsequent whispers of the Spirit have begun to bring this comforting and powerful truth back into focus for me: that as I pass through my hours and days, God desires that all I face result in my increasing Christ-likeness, and that I can thank Him when hard times come.

A few days after I hurt my back, I spent a couple of days trying (prayerfully!) to listen more carefully to God. I had a list of concerns I intended to pray over, and I carried the paper with me for the two days, so that I could write down any truths or scriptures God brought to mind. I am always fascinated by what God reveals during such times. This time it was not at all what I expected: some deep truths from His Word that I think He wanted to confirm in my heart, and a warning/reminder to give my mind and spirit some rest. I'm not good at this. I asked Him for the grace to please Him in it. He'll give it. I am thankful for His compassion.

1 - strawberries in a shaft of bright evening sunlight
2 - adorable pencil and watercolor by MK in the same shaft of evening light
3 - okay, I LOVE evening sunlight: muffins in the light...the purple juice dripping down just begged to be photographed

A credit: BB and I have been listening to a wonderful sermon series called Equipping Men by Norm Wakefield. It has been from several of these messages that God has made me believe even more firmly His sovereign goodness in allowing pain/inconvenience/difficulty so that I can become more like His Son.

1 comment:

  1. It's humbling, isn't it, to literally be put flat on your back, but yes, it is a tender mercy that He should do such to speak to our hearts. I pray every day that He will speak and I will listen.