Let’s just say that my day did not go as planned… Car troubles that seemed to multiply as the day went on (when you are a one car family, ANY car trouble is major trouble). Add to that the money troubles that seem to accompany car troubles, and all of the stress that develops as a result, and other ‘things’ I simply will not name and you have a recipe for drama, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, the need to repent for something when it’s all over, and kids who just don’t know what to do other than get away! Sound familiar? There was a time when stress would arise in response to negative situations and our whole family would be affected. I realized a little while ago that our family wasn’t negatively impacted by the actual stressful situation, but by how we handled the stressful situation… I realized that I was not ‘casting my cares upon th Lord”, and I wasn’t trusting that “He (actually) cared for me”, as displayed by my negative response to issues that arose. If you’ll notice with me, the beginning of this particular passage begins with the words, “So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…”. Have you ever noticed a the striking relationship between humility and stress? We would be amazed at the impact that humility has on our stress levels!!! Most times, our stress levels can be reduces drastically by simply stepping back and, instead of focusing on how a stressful situation is affecting us, we can ask ourselves, “What can I do to help relieve stress for others (husband, kids, friends)?” It’s amazing!!! Simply by humbling myself and not thinking only about how things were impacting me, even while great levels of stress swarmed all around, nothing erupted and had to be cleaned up later. I didn’t pout, or get angry, or get snappy…I found myself growing quiet…and prayerful… Oh, don’t get me wrong, I felt stress!!! I simply chose…decided…opted not to let the stress I was feeling control how I behaved! Instead, I found myself trying earnestly to do what I am suggesting to you…I focused on the next part of that verse; “…under the mighty POWER of God…” … and when I did that I wanted to shout praises to God, instead of shout or scream at my children or my husband…I wanted to raise my hands in worship, instead of covering my face with my hands and weeping. The thought of humbling myself under the MIGHTY power of God….Did you hear that??? His POWER is MIGHTY!!! … Mighty!!!! And He is SOOOOOOOOOOO much more than able to take care of me when I get out of the way!!!
HUMBLE: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance
In other words, It’s not all about me!!! And a lot of times, our stress comes because we make everything ALL ABOUT US!!!! And it’s not!! “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3b To be humble…to have a low estimate of your own importance…thinking of others as more important than yourself.” How often do we truly do that?
As I watch my exhausted husband dosing in his recliner that he rarely gets to enjoy, I thank God that today I did not add to his stress. I could have…very easily…and I almost did, but I am thankful that I did not. The issues that we faced today as a family, and the issues we have faced in recent months and weeks, are stressful enough without adding a selfish, argumentative wife to the equation… My heart and prayers go out to him…he won’t sleep through the night…he has paperwork due for work in the morning…but he was so worn out after the days episodes, and after doing all he could do to deal with difficult situation after difficult situation… and even though there were several instances where the old me could have reappeared, today I thank God that she has been put to death by God’s Spirit….
“Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.” Romans 6:3-8
So my sweetie sleeps…I will wake him shortly so that he can work through the night, get maybe a couple of hours of sleep, and get up and go to work in the morning. He does that often for us, and tonight I thank God I was not a source of stress for him today. I am learning everyday to live out this new life Christ died to give me. I am learning every day to put the needs of my husband before myself. I am learning daily that the world does not revolve around me and what I want…or what I need in the moment. I thank God that a very stressful day did not escalate due to my immaturity and refusal to humble myself and trust God to take care of us…Today, as his stress level mounted, I praise God I chose to respond with quietness, instead of quibbling. I chose to respond with prayer instead of nitpicking. I chose to see his needs and his struggles instead of his… This is not the voice of pride talking. I am not a fan of the word “I” appearing too frequently…and I want you to know that it was not always this way…but today it was, and I am so thankful to God for that. What did you choose today? What will you choose tomorrow…the next day? It’s not too late to choose the way of submission…the joys over here are too many to number…and more are discovered daily…
Please read the entire passage in the image above, and see how it all ties in to humility, and let me know how you plan to apply these verses to your life. Did you know that “Heaven is [Gods] throne, and the earth is [his] footstool.” Isaiah 66:1 Think about it for a moment…how’s that for perspective! God is AMAZING!!! Praise Him on your knees! He is worthy 😀