I’m tired right now.  This week has been particularly stressful.  Some of the stress is the schedule.  Most of the stress is in my mind.  I am off tomorrow, and it will be time to "regroup."

Mind-stress is wearing.  For me it tends to come when I think about some of the following:

1.  The future.  Will I continue in a ministry like the one I am in now or will I do something else? 

2.  Finances.  Will we (our family) have enough money for the future?  How do I learn to trust God and yet at the same time make wise decisions?  I’m not always sure how this plays out.       

3. Health issues.  Watching family members grow older.  Realizing the mortality of us all.  Thinking about the future of loved ones.

4.  Relationship issues.  Feelings of regret over some relationships.  Feelings of sadness over other relationships.  Probably wanting to fix what is not in my power to fix.   

5.  Loss.  Missing my children (one grown and the other away at college).  Missing certain friends.   Sometime feeling a deep sense of loss over time that has passed but I would like to experience again.

Do you relate to any of these?  I suspect some of you do.  Probably you have your own sources of mind-stress.   

One thing is for sure.  What I just expressed is a part of life or at least it is a part of my life.  Some of these probably reflect my humanness and struggle with life.  I am not looking for a quick fix or an easy answer.  I do need to remember God’s constant care and presence.  This morning I am reading a Scripture that gives me great encouragement and hope:

“So do not fear, for I am with
you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous

“For I am the Lord, your God, who
takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you…”  (Isaiah 41:10, 13)

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19 thoughts on “Mind-Stress

  1. Most, if not all, of those things that we get concerned about have to do with the future or things that are ongoing that we cannot control.  It is an easy thing to blog about and a hard thing to do, but as we live in trust that God will take care of us, we need to live in each day with the sustenance that He provides for that day.  I read a book recently that asked the question, "Do you have enough grace, things, mercy, or whatever to live through this day?"  If the answer is yes, you really have no worries.  As I said, it’s easy to blog about.  Thanks Jim for keeping it real and showing that all of us struggle.  And thank God for those days of regrouping and rest.

  2. Jim,
    I love the honesty of this post.  I feel the same way, for some of the same reasons from time to time.  Praying through the Psalms has helped remind me that our concerns are ancient and normal.  I say that because I used to feel bad for feeling weary, lonely, worried, etc.  Some students of human behavior recognize this as creating a meta state.  That is, wearyness that comes from the external stuff, but then more weariness resulting from reflection on the weariness.  I worry the health and wealth gospel leaves people with no other option than to really just be healthy and happy all the time or to feel bad, and go meta and torture themselves for feeling bad about feeling bad.  The church has no shortage of spiritual neurosis created by false concepts of reality.
    Anyway, thanks for modeling for us the reatlity that its OK to experience all of life’s ups and downs. 
    Enjoy some sabbath tomorrow.

  3. Thanks for that — it could have been written by me — and you put into words what I have been feeling most of this week.I don’t know why I always expect my life to "calm down." I am realizing that is will not; that this <em>is</em> my life!Thanks for the reminder that I am not alone in a human sense; and for the scripture. 

  4. Your post is so appropriate and timely considering the state of the world right now.  The news is so discouraging and children are so much more at risk today that it makes us almost ill with anxiety.  I reach for a book by Elisabeth Eliott or Amy Carmichel for some calming  words and scripture reference.  Elisabeth talks about a "path through dispair" that always calms me down knowing God does provide this path and Amy Carmichel talks of Calvary love that turns my thoughts in directions other than my worries. 

  5. Ben,I like the sentence in your comment regarding many of our concerns being both "ancient and normal."  And you are right, praying the Psalms does reveal that.  Thanks. 

  6. Jim thank you for this particularly encouraging post.  This HAS been an exceedingly stressful one.  I would add one to your list … not just "missing’ your child but watching them about to undergo surgery.  This is stressful. Shalom,Bobby Valentine 

  7. Wow, how did you know what I have been thinking and feeling.  This is very encouraging to me – life continues to happen and I seem to forget that God is in control.  Thank you for this – and the honesty that comes with it.  There are so many people I miss – especially those that used to be a part of my physical family.  But, they are my Christian Family. Julie