Where do you run when your world is topsy-turvy? What do you reach for when circumstances swirl in chaos? How far do you allow yourself to be swept away in a current of worry before you look for something to ease the strain? Some of our pacifiers are harmless… more or less, but others…
Finding relief is a wonderful feeling, yet I have learned from involvement with our son’s rehab support group, many things we choose to sooth end up hurting us and others. While drugs and alcohol obviously top the list, other indulgences like over-eating and outbursts of anger are not always mentioned. These things may make you feel better for the moment, but as everyone knows their consequences leave scars.
So what do we look for as healthy stress-releaving alternatives? Physical activity, reading, meditation, and a variety of creative and artistic expressions are options. I use all of these, but particularly meditating on Scripture. I’ll pick sections to read and then thoroughly dig through them for all the treasure I can find. One such piece I love is:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of (a) calm and well-balanced mind, and discipline and self-control.” 2Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible
For many years I assumed the spirit being described was simply the human spirit God gives us at birth. I always thought of this verse as a, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ’cause God didn’t create you to be timid and full of fear.
Then I wrote the verse out as if it were written to me. As I began meditating on each word I realized it was talking about the new Holy Spirit God gives each believer. It’s describing His attributes, not mine!
He’s the One who’s powerful.
He’s the One that’s full of love.
His mind is calm and well-balanced.
He’s completely disciplined and self-controlled.
I am full of this amazing Spirit if I belong to God. It was this exchange; His Spirit for mine that happened at the moment I decided to follow Jesus. This deposit is my guarantee of all that is to come!
“And He (God) has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.” 2 Corinthians 1:22 NLT
Courage and stability are mine as I tap into something far bigger and greater, something far more powerful and pure, something so close in contact with God It knows His very thoughts. I have been given a new Spirit… the Spirit of the Living God. -Anna
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