It has been shown over and over again that stress and anxiety are not optimal for brain function on the long term.  You can expect your performance, productivity and efficiency will turn for the worse if your stress levels and anxiety is not in control, nor does it promote anything to your health.  I know this state of mind very well.  I was there.  Stressed, over emotional, health issues, small children, stressfull work, retrenchements.  Is there too much on your plate?  Do you struggle to say ‘No’?  Are you short of temper, overwhelmed, out of control?  You can gain composure and your life back, but you need to be willing to make a few decisions, to change a few habits and to conciously, intentionally work towards a new, better you.

 

Over a few weeks, I will take you on a journey with me to investigate what we can learn from the latest brain research; what the Bible says about it, and how to bring it all back to practical implementations in your life.  Are you ready for it?

 

So, you might ask:  Is peace attainable?  Let us look at a verse from the Bible

Mat 10:34

Think not that I am come to bring peace on the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

So maybe we are trying to reach the wrong goal here if we are longing for peace in our daily lives?  But continuing with the study of the Word, 

John 16:33

These things I have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.

Oh, how I love the ”’discrepancies”’ that turns out not to be discrepancies. 🙂  This shows me that we can be peaceful in the midst of a storm.  We can have internal peace, even though the world around is running around chasing after the wind.  Jesus said it is not viable to think we will not be challenged in life:  both the house on the sand and the house on the rock will encounter the winds and the storms.  Winds and storms are part of the earth, don’t wish it away, don’t act as if it is not there, it is a reality, but God has overcome the storm, you can have peace, even though there is tribulation around you.  Sounds too good to be true?  Well, if you believe Scripture, you will have to believe that it is possible.  it is not always easy, but it is possible.

More than three years ago

I was stuck in a corporate job that required more working hours from me than what was healthy for my family and my health.  I felt stuck between earning money and yearning to spend more time with my children.  I got stuck in politics, major restructuring in the company, management that did not share openly and the possible threat of job losses and retrenchments.  I remember well the office talk around me, the negativity, the cynical discussions, the uncertainty, etc.  It was not fun being at work, it was difficult to work productively after you partook in a conversation about the future of the company, it was difficult to go home with a smile on your face and energy to enjoy your family.

I was challenged with the question: Do you think it is possible for every person to find enough time in their program to spend time with God?

I realized we are so busy to fill every moment in live because we are so used to be busy, not to be stil.  Sometimes we need to test everything we are busy with, with the question: “Does this add value?” IF the answer is ”No”, then stop doing it.  We are so busy with the ”adding value” stuff, that we don’t get time for the ”spiritual adding value stuff”.  I think we should rather ask ourselves : “Does this add spiritual value?”  and then the activity that adds the least spiritual value, gets replaced with time with God.  In the same breath we should be careful to spend time on doing things for God, rather than building on our relationship with God”.  Many times we seek refuge from our past, from relationships, from our emotions, from our reality by filling our diary up with stuff. 

Why not find refuge in God?

During that time I started to spend more and more time in the Word of God.  I took refuge in it.  I would like to share a few things with you from that time in my life.

 Look at the excerpt from my diary:  Is God busy to prepare me, to strengthen me and to show my heart the right road?  I stand in awe when I look at the journey He is taking me on to ‘let go’.  He can only direct me, when I don’t hold the reins that tight.  We need to free our spirits.  Imagine your heart as a hot air balloon.  We need to cut the strings of our hears, so that the ‘wind’ (Holy Spirit) can move it to the right direction.  We need to give gas/ heat, we need to light the fire within, which will allow the balloon to rise, and then we need to sit back and allow the wind to take the balloon to a new destination, to show us the direction our lives must take.

I found that I could become calm within the storm.  Even though I was surrounded by chaos, I experienced quite and peace in my soul.  One of the things that helped me, was a study of Ps1

Ps1:1

Blessed is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down where the scornful gathers.

 

 We all want to be happy, fortunate, prosperous.  But you won’t get it, until you submit to God and turn your back upon evil.  God wants you to live, stands, sit in His ways. 

 

Another journal entry: Be careful where the Devil tries to trap you.  I have found that every time new news on the retrenchments were announced, I  caught myself going to sit with someone (or someone coming into my office and sits with me) and used my time to moan, sarcastic humor, intelligent scorn and discussed the situation.  When i walked away from it, I felt good about my insight, but my heart grew heavy inside of me.  I did not feel happiness, I felt sad, disappointed, angry.  Even though it might be the reality, I made it worse by giving it so much airtime.  what can we replace this with?  What should get airtime instead?  What will make me happy, fortunate, prosperous – in other words blessed?  What will bless me?What do I do when I stand and walk?  Many times when I hear others at work talk about the latest developments, I stop and stand to listen.  I can choose to walk away.  I can choose to avoid the negativity.  How do I live my life – where do I get my counsel from?  With the negative or the positive?

 

This realization about myself made me change my ways.  I started to walk circles around the office talk.  And guess what?

 

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. As the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

I found peace.  I found peace even though the storm was raging around me.  I felt blessed.

 

What do you choose?  To be overwhelmed or to earnestly seek God’s peace?  

 

Next week we can continue on this journey.  May the Peace and Love and Hope of God surround you, be with you and guide you.

 

 

 

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