May 26 ē 12:16 PM

Scripture verses help deal with stress

October 01, 2008
It's 3:30 a.m. Mike's legs were achy and fidgety from having sorted onions for four hours with Debbie after his daytime job; and, so both of us could get some sleep, I had moved to the spare bed. When I awoke to a spectacularly star-studded sky, I was way too awake to go back to sleep. So I bypassed the automatic setting on the coffee maker and made my way to the computer, still without a clue what to write for next week's column (which needs to be written before I leave the house at 7:15).

Beginning to surface at the forefront of my mind is last night's harbinger of grim financial news.

"There's probably great cause for anxiety on the horizon,'' my head said.

But my heart clicked back to something I had read just a few minutes ago. After I had poured a mug of coffee and asked myself what in the world I had to offer by way of encouragement, I had spotted—on this rather cluttered end table between my recliner and the computer cabinet—a little book someone had loaned me—The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word. In the handbook, barely more than palm-size, Joyce Meyer had gone through the effort of categorizing—by topic—a variety of Scripture verses.

The book had probably been there for two months. Unopened. My eyes had seen it, but this morning, the eyes of my heart saw it, and I opened it—read the introduction that asked: Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Well, of course I did! Doesn't everybody?

By her own admission, Meyer had been an extremely negative person before God began dealing with her concerning the very destructive nature of her attitude. "If I don't expect anything good to happen to me, then I won't be disappointed when it doesn't'' had been her basic philosophy.

She shares the secret that literally changed her life. She became intentional about not speaking negatively. But the real change came when she learned to pray Scripture.

She shares many Scrip-ture references, most of which she has taken from recent, easy to understand, versions and paraphrases. Sometimes she has even put them into first-person prayers to make it easier for the rest of us to pray them.

I looked under the head-ing Anxiety and Worry. There were 10 listings, the very first of which reads like this: "I am strong, courageous, and firm; I fear not and am not in terror, for it is the Lord my God Who goes with me; He will not fail me or forsake me.'' — Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Amplified Bible—published by Zondervan)

How's that for strength for today and hope for tomorrow? Of course, that kind of serenity presupposes that I unclench the hand that holds tightly to the things of this world—long enough to slip it into the firm grasp of the One who holds the stars in place.

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 26 - 19
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