How Are You Coping?

I went down a Google-rabbit-hole this week, searching how our bodies respond to stress. It is amazing! God made our bodies to be able to handle stress internally, but how you are coping with the stress of this year externally? I believe one way the Enemy has been spreading darkness in our world this year is by leading Christ-followers to escape their emotions and feelings of stress by numbing out—by selling us the lie that we just need to get by. When we believe this lie, we adopt habits of complacency. Our coping strategies will either help form us into Christlikeness (Gal. 4:19) or deform us, away from Christlikeness.

In his book, For The Love Of God, D.A. Carson writes, “People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

How are you coping with the uncomfortable emotions and stress of this year? Your children are watching you and are learning from you. “Today is the proving ground of what [you] believe and of whom [you] worship.” (Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary) As the apostle Peter reminded the early churches, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

God made us with the hormones we need to handle stress internally and is ready to daily give us the grace we need to handle the stress of life externally. When your emotions hit a peak, to whom or what do to turn?  

I’ve taken great comfort in the unchanging nature of God during this strange season—even though my emotions turn on a dime, He does not change. I believe the psalmists knew this when they prayed, “My eyes are worn out from crying. Lord, I cry out to you all day long; I spread out my hands to you.” (Psalm 88:9) and “Lord, my every desire is in front of you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart races, my strength leaves me, and even the light of my eyes has faded.” (Psalm 38:9-10)

As you continue to navigate this curious year, my prayer is that you will turn to the Lord—and in doing so you, you will find “seasons of refreshing” (Acts 3:19-20) as well as goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (2 Peter 1:6-7). I am praying for you as you seek healthy methods of coping with the stress of this world, as you build habits of faith in your home.