Get Off The Treadmill Of Stress And Know That God Is Everywhere We Let Him
By Michael H. Brown
Do you sometimes feel like you're hanging from a thread, that at any moment disaster could strike, that there are a million hazards out there and sooner or later one of them will get you? Are you afraid that genetic factors or exposure to carcinogens or the wrong diet is going to lead -- inevitably -- to cancer? Does every ache and pain cause fear? Do you figure that an accident of some sort, a breakdown, a heartbreak is just down the road?
It is not. Much bad does not have to be. We all die. There is redemptive suffering. But at most points in our lives all forms of the above can be prevented by closeness with God.
There is no darkness in Him. Scripture tells us that. He pervades all. He is there for the intricate working of every cell in our bodies. And He can reverse damage and renew us both spiritually and physically. Without Him, there is entropy; things fall apart; there is doom. With Him there are blessings. We tend to think of Him as Someone Who created everything and then has let it spin on its own -- tick like a clock.
That's not the way it is. The Lord is what vivifies us. He is throughout our beings. And He can affect anything in our systems -- if we let Him (if we don't think life is mechanical). It is like the appliances in our homes: the fan that whirls, the refrigerator, the TV: we tend to think of them as units that are independent but they would not work without the force of electricity that is hidden behind them.
God is our power and it's up to you to start thinking of Him that way. Begin seeing Him everywhere all the time, start seeing Him in the ordinary, start seeing Him in the extraordinary (knowing He can do that as readily) and you now are under the control of a being Who can erase all negativity to which you have been exposed and reverse any damage.
How's that for hope! And it's true: God is everywhere and does everything. Have you noticed how subtle most of His miracles are? He will cause a candle to drip in just such a way that it could be seen as an angel. He will slightly inflect light. He will cause bark on a tree to grown in a fashion that resembles the Face of His Son.
These are His little miracles, and they extend to our own bodies. His slight touch causes our cells and tissues and organs to go in the right direction.
We all age and we all grow ill and the body will eventually break down, but we do not have to speed up the process by stress. We are not destined for cancer. We are not destined for Alzheimer's. With faith, we are destined for the fullness of life. If the time comes when we need a doctor, we pray for God to come through the physician.
When God is on the scene -- when He is in control, instead of our "selves" -- we are no longer at the mercy of the capricious. The Bible says that the weapons of spiritual warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God. Let Him into every part of you. Let Him take over. Let Him permeate every cell in your body.
Life is not a roulette wheel for those who invoke Him with faith, and that means realizing that there is not a single illness or handicap that He can't correct. There is nothing He can't do. He created the physical laws; He can suspend them.
The Lord is above all the forces of nature and when we let Him into our lives, He can reverse any physical damage. He will watch over the functioning of every cell. He will repair what needs to be repaired.
What if that sharp pain in my arm is a symptom of a heart attack?
What if that pain in my abdomen is caused by an abdominal aneurism?
What if that flutter in my chest is a dangerous arrhythmia?
What if that occasional abdominal discomfort is a tumor?
We all go through this, and when we do we need to invoke the good Lord to take total control of the circumstances. Theoretically, with enough faith, we need nothing else. He can halt anything bad. He can correct any situation. He will direct you if you need a physician.
In prayer, if something feels really serious, naturally, we should take advantage of God's gift of the medical community. But it is time to stop surrendering to stress. What causes stress? Wanting more and more -- more respect, more money, more prestige. Not having the time for anything. Trying to do too much. Whining. Complaining. Fretting. Receiving insults from others (instead of ignoring them).
As pointed out in an extremely useful book called Stress Less, by a Christian doctor named Don Colbert, we bring many maladies upon ourselves. Stress is deadly. It's a vicious cycle!
"So many people today are far from experiencing 'perfect peace' because they do not trust God and their minds are not fixed on Him and His ability to protect them, provide for them, and guide them into every good path," writes Dr. Colbert (in a book packed with information, much more extensive than his previous). "They spend their days and nights worrying about the past or fretting about the future."
Dr. Colbert gives countless ways of attacking stress -- from what we eat to how we sleep, act, and pray -- but the bottom line is always trusting in God.
"Anytime I see a patient whose health is deteriorating because life is spinning too fast, I explain to him that life is not a sprint, but a marathon," says the physician. "He or she needs to slow down and enjoy the slow jog through life. Those who race through their days at a breakneck speed are 'striving' -- they are in hot pursuit of things temporal that they believe they personally must own, accomplish, or make happen."
Are you on a treadmill? Are you too "busy" to enjoy life? Is it affecting you?
"I'm afraid I'm going to lose my job..."
"I'm worried about my children..."
"I'm worried I won't be able to pay the bills..."
Get off the treadmill of stress -- of fear -- and know that God is everywhere that we let Him.
[Bookstore resources: The God of Miracles; Retreat in Indiana]
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