Stress effects every aspect of our person. It effects every facet of our lives. It hides in places you dont expect, and comes screaming at you when you dont want it to.
It distracts us from our purpose by muddling our thinking, clouding our vision of God and taking energy away from our lives and the precious people in them. It steals quiet moments from our husbands, children, friends, family and God.
It is present when we are awake and asleep.
It wearies our physical bodies, our minds, our hearts and our spirits.
It is ever-present.
Some degree of it is unavoidable.
For all this, I believe that Satan uses this as a very handy tool in his tool box when it comes to Christian women.
Consider this verse, "..be alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I Peter 5:8 (NIV)
and from The Message, "Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up."
To me, stress has become a "prowling lion" that I have been made aware of. I suddenly see it, sneaking in the grass..waiting to strike at a moments notice.
I really believe that this is a way that Satan can strongly influence us as Christian woman. Even as we strive to be all that we need to be for our children, husbands, homes, communities and churches we find our selves open to this attack.
We have to be alert. Always alert to his ploys.
When I started really thinking about this, I stopped and considered what I was feeling in that moment.
I noted that my shoulders were tight, my stomach was anxious, my chest was heavy. I felt irritable, overwhelmed, guilty and inadequate. I feel frustrated with my home, my kids, my husband, my inability to manage it all.
No reason, and a thousand all at once.
I dont have anything "huge" happening to give me this feeling..its just life in general. ALL of it combined.
So, I asked God to show me. Show where my stress is hiding. What is stressing me out? What is going on that is adding to this overall feeling it "all" being more than I can handle?
And He did.
Started showing me things about my body, my thinking, my routines, my home, my habits...
I started seeing that "all of it" was made up of a million little things that worked together to make me feel generally "stressed".
So I started working on them. One at a time.
I am always on alert now. I see it everywhere. It IS everywhere.
THAT..is the beginning. Just seeing it.
SO, see it.
Pray that God will show it to you..He will.