Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Peace for Rosie

Rosie* is a ball of raw emotion. She reacts too quickly in anger when her supervisor at work asks her questions that, to most people, would not be seen as threatening. The extreme feelings she has about current situations in her life overwhelm her. She thinks about what someone did or said until it becomes different and hurtful, in her mind. She cries easily and says things she doesn’t mean; she has diarrhea.

Stress is a health-wrecker--frustration, worrying, fretting, being obsessive. And besides that, it makes life chaotic and hellish. Here are some telling statistics, according to this linked article on Web MD:

Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.

Seventy-five to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.

Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, or arthritis in addition to depression and anxiety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.

The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

I hope Rosie will be able to find peace. Many people search for it today and don’t find it. Where can you find it? The answer is simple, and maybe that’s why some distrust it, but it is true. Deep, lasting, inner-core quietness is found by trusting in God and looking to him for that peace. A sense of calm fulfillment is possible--IS possible--and this is an absolute truth.

In the Old Testament, Isaiah says if we trust in God, his peace will fill us:

You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

In the New Testament, Jesus beckons to the stressed, the tired, the overwhelmed:

28If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. 29Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. 30This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light. (Matthew 11, CEV)

The Message translation says it another way:

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

That's my prayer for peace.

*This is not really her name; she’s a composite of several stressed-out people I know.

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