Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Jesus (Matthew 6:34) Recently …Working With Worry
Stress and Overthinking and God Interventions
When it feels like the world is spinning out of control, do your spiraling thoughts overwhelm you? I can tell you what helps when I feel this way. I have learned this doesn’t just magically go away.
For me, I have to make an intentional decision to stop what I’m doing, become aware that I am spiraling, take a deep cleansing breath, find a quiet place, and talk to God.
I find it helpful to begin by acknowledging who God is, and offer gratitude for everything I can think of, as well as things I don’t even know. In those moments, I breathe deeply again, and allow God to re-introduce the peace I need, and that He desires for my spirit to feel.
Beloved, if you are too much “in your head” lately, ruminating, pondering excessively, with spinning thoughts to no end, I pray you find praying through the book of Ecclesiastes strangely comforting, like I did this morning.
In the end, this is what matters most: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
P.S. And isn’t it just like God’s Holy Spirit, that in the middle of processing all this, as my troubled spirit was healing, an unexpected encounter happened – a woman stopped to talk with me in the coffee shop, and poured out her heart to me and God, and we listened, and I cried with her. Thank you God.
In scripture, as with my own story, I have learned peace is a gift from God. Receive God’s gift of peace for yourself today. Take a moment and use your calming breaths, release body tension, and recognize God’s Spirit dwelling in you.
“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
(written with inspiration from “The Upper Room”)
Troubling Dream, God’s Reply
I had a troubling dream about feeling useless in retirement, and wondering if I made a difference in ministry. Then I felt guilty for having such an egotistical thought in my dream. Then awoke to this scripture today., and the reminder that I will continue in ministry as a hospital chaplain. Thank you Jesus.
Do you ever wonder if what you do matters? Hear the word of the Lord:
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10
In Your Storm
Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.
Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost.
They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Mark 6:47-50
Even though the disciples had been with Jesus for a long time, they didn’t recognize him as he approached in the storm. The story reminds us that we may not recognize the Lord when He comes to us in the middle of our own personal storms.
[Adapted from “Lessons in Religion”]
Mental Health and Faith
Inspired and adapted through an article in “Rethink Church”
Depression… anxiety… inability to concentrate… mood changes… trouble relating to people… low energy… feeling hostile towards others… excessive worry… feeling unable to cope with stress… excessive drug or alcohol consumption…
An inability to deal with mental health symptoms is not always an indication of sin in your life. In some cases it might be an indication of illness–and may need to be treated as any other illness gets treated (with a doctor’s help).
“in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; until the destroying storms pass by.” [Psalm 57:1]
In many ways, we are bound to one another. So when one person suffers, we all encounter suffering. This passage is just one of many that remind of our connectedness: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” [1 Corinthians 12:26]
If you or a friend need help, please take that step and reach out to someone you trust.
Psychology Today offers a referral site. If you have suicidal thoughts call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.
Bible in One Year 2022 Nicky Gumbel
Jesus healed a man who had been an disabled for thirty-eight years (John 5:5). The man must have been desperate: he had been putting his hope in the healing powers of the waters of Bethesda, which would bubble up periodically, and it was thought that the first person in after the waters bubbled up would be healed. But this man had no one to help him get in first (v.7).
He had no friends, no close family. Nobody cared for him. He was alone and abandoned. Nobody loved him, but Jesus loved him.
Jesus says to him, as he says to each one of us, ‘Do you want to get well?’ (v.6). For thirty-eight years, this man had learned to survive as he was. Now he has to rise up, make choices, find new friends, find work and become responsible for his life.
Joyce Meyer writes of this incident that, in effect, Jesus said to the man, ‘Don’t just lie there, do something!’ She continues, ‘Being sexually abused for approximately fifteen years and growing up in a dysfunctional home left me lacking confidence and filled with shame. I wanted to have good things in my life, but I was stuck in emotional torment and despair.
‘Like the man in John 5, Jesus did not give me pity either. Jesus was actually very firm with me and He applied a lot of tough love, but His refusal to let me wallow in self-pity was a turning point in my life. I am not in the pit any longer. I now have a great life. If you will reject self-pity, actively look to God and do what He instructs you to do, you can have a great life too.’
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