Let me explain this "stress sandwich", in case you wonder what kind of nutjob I am.
Going down, it's not so bad. I ingest a myriad of tasks, making notes of them in my planner. I feel like it's no big deal, and I'll get through everything just fine.
Once it hits my stomach however, I feel it...
The tightly wound feeling grows in the pit of my stomach, and I feel overwhelmed.
Sometimes there comes a point where I don't even want to function, but instead sit somewhere, trying to numb the discomfort by doing something mindless:
pinning stuff on pinterest,
learning new music,
...forgetting that by doing nothing to work on my list, I'm only letting the stress build.
I've experienced quite a bit of stress over the past few days, trying to cope with understanding several concepts, getting things turned in on time, and preparing for exams (I hate the word "exam")
And then come complications.
A few social stresses were thrown in there too, for good measure.
It wasn't like a sudden hit, but more the rising tide, creeping up until I felt I couldn't tread water any longer.
Right as I felt I was about to go under, something happened.
Amidst my sea of stress or digestion of a sandwich, (I'm mixing up analogies now. I'm sorry, just pick your favorite) I heard a voice.
Not audibly, but a heart whisper, if you know what I mean. More like a thought came into my mind that I knew wasn't mine.
Here's what I heard:
"I won't let my faithful one see decay"WHAT.
I had no idea how this tied into my circumstance, and I was ready to dismiss it as a random thought (I have plenty of those) but this phrase repeated itself again and again, vying for my attention, it seemed. I'd be working on a task, and there was the phrase:
"Nor will I let my holy one see decay"
This line played in my head. Completely out of the blue.
I know this sounds bizarre, but bear with me.
How did this tie into my life and why couldn't I put that phrase out of my mind?
I was just dealing with life stresses. Everyone has to deal with those.
I was sure that I just needed to grow a thicker skin and buy more sticky notes (sticky notes = super organized).
But this line peaked my interest (and it repeatedly came to mind). A google search of the phrase showed that the line came from Psalm 16, so I started reading it.
And this, my dear reader, is where my stress started turning into praises.
I got the coolest shiver.
IT WAS JUST THE SOLUTION I NEEDED.
I can't describe how excited this made (and makes) me:
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure...
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
And the portion that popped into my head:
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I am very sure I have shared this verse before, but it's not like I've memorized it (though I know I should)
It is a confirmation to me that I do have the Holy Spirit to comfort and instruct me just when I need it -- crazy and amazing as that is.
It is a confirmation that the Lord counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
Things like this, small as they may seem, are the things that bolster my faith. I hope that someday my faith will be so strong that I remember to rely wholly on God, and not my own weak inabilities to "get things done" and be "competent".
And maybe next time, I won't try to ignore that persistent little voice. If I had read the passage sooner, it would have saved me the stress.
I am by no means one of the people who is always right on track and spiritually in-tune. I have a long ways to go; I have pleentyyy of struggles. I often wonder why God is so gracious and forgiving to me.
But this was one small instance that was incredibly encouraging to me, so I thought I should share it as encouragement for you.
If you've got God on your side...
He is not going to let you see decay.
He'll help you swim out of that sea of stress (or digest that stress sandwich).
On top of that, He's going to give you joy and security.
You will not be shaken.