Stressed Lately?

When stress level brings you to your knees, you are in the best position to find strength.

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As you are reading this blog post, let me ask you: are you feeling tired? Are you in a situation when you just want to rest your mind and body from all the stress given to you by your job, your kids, your neighbor, or just any other thing or person or any other reason? Napapagod ka na ba at gusto mo na munang ihiga ang iyong katawan, magpahinga sa lahat ng ingay at suliranin ng mundo?

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Hindi ka nag-iisa.

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Across 22 countries, the top three major causes of stress para sa 27,000 survey respondents na mga internet users edad 15+ ay ang mga sumusunod:

  1. Money
  2. Self-pressure
  3. Lack of sleep

Source: http://www.gfk.com/insights/press-release/money-and-self-pressure-are-the-leading-major-causes-of-stress-internationally/

May mga araw talaga na pakiramdam natin ay sobrang pagod na tayo. Mga panahon na gusto nating sumuko na lang. Minsan nga stressed ka na sa trabaho tapos pag-uwi mo stressful scenario pa rin ang aabutan mo sa bahay. Pero isang magandang biyaya na malaman na sa kabila ng lahat ng kapaguran natin sa buhay, may dahilan tayo upang manatiling matatag, malakas at nakatayo sa ating mga paa. Kahit gaano karaming bundok ng trabaho ang dumating at itambak sa ating mga mesa, pwede pa rin naman tayong mag say NO sa pagiging wasted.

When stress level brings you to your knees, you are in the best position to find strength.

There was a time when David faced too much of stress, because the people spoke of stoning him to death because their families were kidnapped by their enemies. They blame the mishap upon David. They cried tears until there were no tears to cry. It was a very heartbreaking episode in the life of David (see 1 Samuel 30:1-30).

Astoundingly, David did not allow the negativity of the emotions get the most out of him. Instead he turned to the Lord:

“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God”. 1 Samuel 30:6

His pain served as a launch pad for his faith. His frustrations served as a catalyst for greater trust. His weakening body and spirit found strength in the presence of the Lord.

Sa atin, in times of pain and frustrating situations, kanino tayo humuhugot ng lakas?

Sa mga kaibigan?
Sa mga self-help books?
Sa ating mga hobbies and collections?

David came to a point na ang mga taong sumusuporta sa kanya ay handa na siyang patayin. What could be more stressful than that? But David was able to get through the seemingly insurmountable stressful event because he found strength in the Lord his God.

And you can find strength in God too!

It is a good thing to know that:

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

And see how awesome God’s promise of spiritual and physical refreshing to the weary:

“Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31

Are you tired? Turn to God and find strength.

In Pursuit of God

He is a God that can enter the realm of our experiences – not just a God we can fathom with our intellect.

There is a world of difference between knowing about God and knowing God. We may know Him – His works in the past, in the present and what He will do in the future. We may know a lot of things about Him – His awesome qualities and stories about Him. We may know Him by name, but unfortunately we may not know who He really is.

The sermon today really hit the mark. I can no longer justify myself. I was rebuked to the core, challenged to take honest assessment of myself and moved to take my knowledge of God to the next level. He is more than what my mind can conceive, much more than what every good book can describe of Him, even more than doctrines can ever produce depicting Him. He is God – the only real God with whom no substitute can ever compare.In Pursuit of God.jpg

What makes this God so special is that He is a personal God. He is not a distant God who just looks towards us – His creation, and leaves us wondering what to do with life. Instead, He has given us His lavish grace and blessings for us to appreciate that He wants the best for us. Who would have thought that an omnipotent God who alone can create the universe with just a word from His mouth will care about us – creatures who are even incapable of reciprocating the kind of love He gives us. If there is one word I can describe God’s love towards us, I’d like to say that it’s a stubborn kind of love. And I am forever grateful to that.

It’s one thing to enjoy Him – His love, His grace, His forgiveness – all His many benefits; it’s another thing to really pursue Him. Now a convicting thought lingers on my mind: how am I really pursuing Him? Or am I, really?

Is it enough that I know about His love? Is it enough that I appreciate His wondrous works that benefits the helpless soul that I am? Is it enough that I just savor the beauty of His grace, enjoying the lavishness of His love incomprehensible? Pwede, pero depende.

It’s one thing to enjoy Him – His love, His grace, His forgiveness – all His many benefits; it’s another thing to really pursue Him. Now a convicting thought lingers on my mind: how am I really pursuing Him? Or am I, really?  The mere thought makes me think how unfair I [we] really am [are] when it comes to relating to Him.

Being busy for the kingdom is not a thing to be confused with being intimate with the King. We can do all the crazy stuff out there to at least say we’re busy pursuing Him, but in the end, our soul’s connection to the Father determines the futility of our actions. In Him, there is fullness of joy, there is peace beyond understanding and love beyond any condition. No amount of activity can fake out what only God can produce in and through us.

Amidst all the ministerial busyness, is He really the One being sought after? Or are we just downsizing Him to an activity we can jot down on our planners? He is more than that. As Psalm 34:8 says, His goodness can both be tasted and seen.

He is a God that can enter the realm of our experiences – not just a God we can fathom with our intellect.