I’ve spent a majority of my life living in “stress mode.” As far back as I can remember—much further back than one should have such memories—I’ve felt perpetually stressed out. As a young child I stressed about my clothes, my friendships, my grades. The stressors shifted as I got older, but they’ve always been there, the nagging voices that refuse to be silenced, telling me that there is more to do, more to worry about—far too much more than I could ever manage.
To this day, I am almost always experiencing heightened levels of stress. I stress about daily things (the state of my house, my child’s eating habits, my blogging schedule), about big things (racial tension, sex trafficking, how I’m not doing enough to solve these problems), about my future (retirement, Charleston’s college tuition, potential widowhood).
I don’t like this facet of my personality. In fact, it’s one of my very least favorite things about myself. I hate that I’m always uptight, that my mind refuses to settle, that I can’t just relax or go with the flow as I perceive those around me are able to do. And I’ve gone to great lengths to limit my stress. I’ve tried pills, meditation, therapy, schedules, and saying no to LOTS of things. Ultimately, I know that the answer to alleviating my stress doesn’t lie in anything I am able to do. It’s up to God.
This month’s verse tells me that, because of God’s great love “we are not consumed.” In other words, my stressors do not need to consume my mind, my time, or my life. I don’t need to rely on myself to get everything done, or even to fix the feeling of needing to get everything done. Our Lord is a compassionate Father who helps shoulder our burdens. He will never let me down—that is one thing I don’t ever need to worry or stress about.
Unfortunately, this knowledge doesn’t keep me from feeling stressed. I know that I will wake up tomorrow morning as I always do: ruminating about all that my day holds, and overwhelmed by the mere thought of attempting to check off every To-Do on my list. I also know that God will be right there, waiting for me to work my way through the day’s worries and back into His compassionate embrace. He is faithful. He shows up, each and every day.
Though I do believe God can work miracles, I don’t anticipate any immediate changes to my stressed state. However, I know that God uses my frenzied mind as an arrow, pointing me back to Him and His fidelity. Therefore, I AM NOT CONSUMED—because he is compassionate, and He is faithful. His mercies are new every morning, exactly when I need them.