Grace When You Are Stressed Out

July 18, 2013

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I’ve been stressed out quite a bit lately.

My wife and I’s job is a never-ending stream of issues and challenges.
We are having to move houses, for which there is never a good time.
We find ourselves in a generally frustrating season of not doing what we would really like to be doing, but making a place for everyone else to do what they want to be doing! (ever feel like that?)

This, coupled with a few weeks off of school for our kids, meaning productivity is at an all time low.

I’m stressed.

I can feel it in those “chest pains” that you know are stress related (don’t worry you medical folk, I know the difference)

It’s in these times when small things seem huge, huge things seem impossible, and you end up emotionally short-changing those you care about.

My repeated prayer is, “God, I need grace.”

I need grace to not overreact to small things.
I need grace to not bite my kids head off when they are annoying (but really just being loud as they have fun).
I need grace to not search for someone to blame for the situation I find myself in.

Paul, when dealing with his “thorn in the flesh”, asked God to remove it three times. God said no.

But, what he did promise is telling.

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. “(2 Corinthians 2:9)

My grace is sufficient.

God can give me the ability to endure through my stress and “trials”, rather than just hoping for them to be removed.

And he can give me a dose of perspective.

No one is dying, no one is sick, and we have gone through much more difficult things than this. 

In fact, I have friends who are facing horrific things right now. My plight is not remotely as difficult as theirs.

Yet, I am stressed. This is reality.

So, my prayer is:

“Lord, give me your sufficient grace to see these things through in the right manner. Give me your perspective.”

It’s not a magic formula where my stress magically vanishes into thin air.

But it is true. So that is where I place my faith.

Daily, Hourly, and some days its feels like each and every minute.

How about you? What helps you find grace in times of stress?

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God