Monday, June 25, 2012

Good times of stress

Well, well, well. These past weeks have been pretty hectic: too much work, too much paper work, too many minor problems, one rather big problem and a few misunderstandings; you know. the days in the life of the typical average person. I'm tired, somewhat frustrated, a little sleep deprived and hurting all over my neck, my shoulders, my back and my head. Yes, I am stressed. Very, very stressed. I haven't had time to read, let alone write reviews, and lets not talk about how I went a week and a half without internet... It has been a very interesting few weeks.

But enough. I'm here to talk about how in the midst of all this mounting tension and stress I have been able to be joyful. You see, joy, true joy, does not depend on your circumstances. A while back, I wrote a review for the Joy of Calvinism and I quoted one of the most reassuring lines I have ever read: "Joy is not an emotion. Joy is a settled certainty that God is in control." And this line alone has given me hope because it is true, and since it is true, in times of stress, like this one, I am not only able to be joyful, I can also have peace. This is how my life looked like last week: my husband and I wanted to buy a simple $8.00 gift for our son. We went to the nearest ATM because the vendor only accepted cash. However, my husband came back from the ATM pursing his lips and moving his head from side to side. We only had $15.00 in our bank account. And it was one of those moments when you can go either way: crazy or cool. We kept our cool. Somehow, thank God, we didn't start to think about the phone or electricity bills that would soon come our way. No, we didn't panic. We quickly gathered our jaws from the floor, walked to our car, went home and took note of the many things we could not do until our next paycheck, which, quite frankly, included everything except breathing.

Now, a couple of days ago, my husband received an unexpected call. A job he had done (as a musician) finally paid off, and he was told to go and pick up a check. And it was a very good check; exactly what we needed to get us through this next week. To us, it was God at work. To the skeptics, it was an overdue payment. But you know what? That check could have come sooner, or it could have come later. Our miracle was that it came when it did: just in time.

This is me, with stress and joy.
We can have joy in times of stress. God will see us through. We can let go, breathe and let Him work it all for our good. That is His promise. Yes, we get frustrated, sad, tired and everything else that comes with the territory of being stressed. It's normal and expected. But I have hope. I have the certainty that everything is in God's hands because He is in control. Nothing escapes Him or surprises Him. So we can be calm and have peace. I can have joy in the midst of all my troubles.

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