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May 13, 2009

Know...

Backyard sunrise


Greetings, Dear Friends!


Susie Larson here...

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. 

Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog, so leave a post, share a story, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a little treat for yourself. This month's gift card comes from Starbucks. 

Now on to my topic...

How do you respond to stress? 

I clench my jaw at night which makes for a powerful headache in the morning. For the longest time I considered jaw-clenching an involuntary reaction to my level of stress. I now realize that when my thinking defaults to stress, my jaw-clenching kicks into gear. 

How about you? What is your default response when things feel unmanageable?  Do you get anxious, mad, overly busy? Or is yours an opposite response? Do you sometimes get so overwhelmed that you camp in front of the TV and eat more than your body requires?

Lately I've been meditating on the wonderful Scripture, "Cease striving and KNOW that I am God." (Psalm 46:10).

Picture two rivers. One with a strong current pushing the waters south, the other, with a steady, powerful current flowing north. God is our True-North. We can either jump in the southbound-river of striving and straining and continually battle the currents of self, or we can hop on an inner-tube and ride the northbound-river of God's power and provision. 

To cease striving is to know - with utter assurance - that God is who He says He is. He is in control, profoundly good, enormously huge, divinely capable, and more-than-enough for us. 

When we step back, take inventory, and thus glean our perspective from our feelings, our understanding, and our own resources, we will undoubtedly find ourselves in the wrong river. We waste  a lot of energy battling our wrong perspectives. When we allow ourselves to get into a tizzy, it's because we've put too much weight on our own abilities and resources. We've become strivers. 

But God says to us: "Stop that. Don't do that. Cease. Cease striving. Cease striving and KNOW. Cease striving and KNOW THAT I AM GOD. I am God. Do you know that? Do you really believe that I spoke the world into being and that I delight in every detail of your life? Your job is to trust and obey. To live by faith. To walk in love. I've got the details. Refuse stress. When you're tempted towards striving and straining, turn away from such thoughts. Hop in My river and let My current take you where you need to go. Peace. I speak peace to you, My precious one."

Proverbs 9:10 is a great verse: Knowing the Holy One results in understanding. When we know Him, we understand why He allows us to walk through hard times (because there's something in it for us). When we know Him, we trust Him. When we know Him, we consider the treasure of His heart more blessed than the gifts from His hand. When we stop striving and hold on to our 'knowing' life - even amidst great difficulty- becomes peaceful, powerful, and completely doable.

Take a deep breath in. And exhale. Know Him more today. Trust Him with your whole heart. He is good. His God. And He is far greater than our minds can comprehend. 

Walk in His presence. Embrace His promises. Count in His provision. 

He is faithful!

Until next week~

PS ~ if you haven't already signed up for my quarterly E-zine, you may want to! Four times a year I email out an E-zine filled with great book giveaways from fellow authors, a devotional thought, great book recommendations, and a prayer to send you on your way. Women love it! Sign up here...


Blessings!


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Comments

You are great! I don't think I read something like this before. Find a good some original thoughts on this subject. Thank you very much from this.

Friendship is like earthenware: once broken, it can be mended; love is like a mirror: once broken, that ends it.

Neither beliver nor reject anything, because any other person has rejected of believed it. Heaven has given you a mind for judging truth and error, Use it.

To make good use of life one should have in youth the experience of advanced years, and in old age the vigor of youth.

Experience is not interesting till it begins to repeat itself, in fact, till it does that ,it hardly is experience.

Doreen,

You are right. However deep your anxiety, God's love and promise to protect you, are deeper still. Blessings to you!

Peter,

Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by. You captured most everyone's struggle so well: We stress from our inability to get things accomplished, we feel confused at times, wondering if we're accomplishing God's highest and best will for us, and we get mad and frustrated because of the opposing elements. The enemy will use every one of these to fire us up and pull us out of our place of rest and assurance that God already knows these things and He makes provision for our every insufficiency. May we continually look up! In Jesus' Name!

Kathy,

I agree with you. It's SO much more peaceful doing things God's way. Why are we so forgetful sometimes? Even so, I love that He patiently leads us in the way we should go. Bless you!

Rebecca,

It was great to see you at the IJM Benefit! I'm glad you were able to come, be inspired, and learn more about this amazing organization. The longer I walk with Christ, the more clear it is to my why justice is the foundation of His throne. What an amazing and caring God we serve! Be blessed!

Missy,

I hope everyone reads your post! I'm a little late getting to these replies but I just love what you wrote. Our Father IS the creator of the universe and we ARE called to unshakable lives. I think of King David's remarkable words: Even if a war breaks out against me, still I remain confident! Now that's perspective. Bless you!

Dear Karen,

I don't think I've ever clenched-to-the-beat of the music. That's a new one for me! I'm sorry to read about your parents' recent health struggles. May they and you find peace and rest during this trying time. Bless you!

I often have anxiety and need to be reminded that I serve a God of peace and He is ultimately in control. God is bigger than my worries and He's here for me whenever I need Him.

Hi Anna,

I'm telling you, I'm preaching to myself here! Though I'm constantly aware of God's presence in my life, I continually forget that more is up to Him than up to me. He carries more, works more, affects more, loves more, cares more, and moves more mountains that my measly efforts ever could. Not that my efforts don't matter, it's just that His efforts matter more! Bless you!

Hello Susie,

This is my first time here and I am just blown away. All too often I fall into this pit of stress, confusion and anger. Stress from my inability to get things accomplished at work, confusion on whether I am doing what God wants me to do and anger at the opposing elements. I must stop stressing about the things of this world and start looking to God for guidance. Sure I still need to work but my work should be for God and love for people. I fall away from that too much. Thank you for this message!

I love the river imagery! I have spent too much time rowing, and not enough time flowing in the past. Thankfully the Lord matures us, and we learn to go in His flow more each time.

Be still
and KNOW
that I AM GOD...

Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord (Moses @ the Red Sea)

It's so much more peaceful doing it His way, isn't it?
Thanks for shining your light!

Hi Susie! Walking in the word and in His light is the only way I can maintain balance. Wait on the Lord He is faithful!
It was fun to see you on Tuesday, and to meet so many wonderful sisters in Christ. Helen:)
The IJM conference was amazing, challenging and inspiring all at the same time. I came home and thanked God for the event and He gave me this verse
Matthew 18:20
"For where two or three come together in My name, I am there with them"
God is wanting to set His children free! How humbling it is to be apart of His plan.

God is so good to us!
Bless you~


This is great Susie, thank you. Often times when I'm anxious and feeling afraid, I have to catch myself and say, "Why on earth do I fear when my Father is the Creator of the universe?!"
In light of the power and love of God and the great gift that we have in His Spirit inside of us, we should be living unshakable lives. When the world is in shambles, we will rejoice!

Yeah, I know about the jaw clenching stuff! Do you clench your jaw to the beat of songs or to your self thinking or tracking someone else talking????? I don't know what that says about me and stress, but I have always thought of myself as layed back! Hmmm.
Recently I have had to practice releasing that tension and really focussing on the stillness and closeness of my friend , the God Almighty. My parents are both dealing with some pretty severe health issues after pretty much sailing through life in good health. To suddenly have to deal with all these potential "worries" has forced me be still and KNOW that God is still God and he is in control. If I relied on my teeth grinding , jaw clenching habbit to deal with my stess, I am afraid I would be toothless by now! Thanks Susie, for the encouraging reminder of what kind of a God we serve.

Wonderful post today, Susie. So often we- especially me- are all about our To Do List and stress when we fail to finish everything. But you're right--- we must step back, relax, take a deep breath and remember that God is good, he is in control, and He is a God of peace (not stress). Thanks, Susie!!

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