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2 SAMUEL 12:15-23 "And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."

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Do you have too much stress in your everyday life? David was one person who knew what stress was. He sinned against God, lost a son, and then had trouble with his other sons the rest of his life. Besides all this, he had to run from the King of Israel for many years and fought many battles on behalf of Israel after he became King himself. What is stress anyway? How can you know if you have too much stress? It has been determined by the experts that there is good stress and bad stress. How can we know the difference?

The dictionary describes stress as:

    A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

Another definition of stress is:

    Importance, significance, or emphasis placed on something.

If you think about it in this way, stress could be anything in your life that has been emphasized greater than everything else. Any issue that has grown out of proportion. It could be bad, such as a death, illness, or decreased income, or it could be good, such as a promotion, wedding or birth of a child. While most life stresses come and go, some are always with us. Big stresses as the ones mentioned above usually change with time but the little stresses that are sometimes a permanent part of our lives are the ones I want us to think about this week.

Everyone gets a flat tire once in a while. By flat tire I mean little aggravations in life. Things that cause us momentary pause. What bugs one person may not be as stressful to another. Getting an acutal flat tire wouldn't be as stressful to a man as it would be to a woman. And a woman having a flat on a frequented highway or when she has a cell phone with her wouldn't be as stressful as when traveling on a deserted stretch of road at night without any phones available. (Especially if you are like me and can't even find the tire let alone change it!) We all have little stresses. They seem big issues when they first occur but after a few weeks, they fade from our memories. These are the stresses we need to learn to cope more efficiently with. When something happens to you that upsets you, ask yourself just how important it is. How big of an issue is it? Try actually rating it from 1 to 10. Decide how long you think it will last and how you could better cope with it while it does last. Some stresses are with us always. Such as a nagging family member, an obnoxious neighbor or a too demanding boss. How do we cope with these stressors? Well, you could quit your job, move or get a divorce; but a better solution might be to learn to cope with them. Knowing what bugs you and why is the first step.

Write down the things that bug you most. What or who is bugging you at home? (And be sure to write down why it is bugging you.) What's making you crazy at work? Put down everything you can think of. Now go back and put them in order. Put the things that bother you most at the top of your list. Now I want you to seriously think about these things this week. Take notice of the person or situation at work who is making you crazy. How do you react? Is there some other way you could react to this stress that would make you feel better about yourself? Do the same thing with the things that are happening at home. Are any of these issues long lasting. By this I mean will any of them be there the rest of your life no matter what you do? If this is the case then you need to learn to live with it. This is not always easy but if you continue to be stressed out over something you cannot possibly change you are just beating your head against a brick wall. I have a couple of situations like that in my life and believe me when I say that you must learn to stop trying to change something you cannot change. It is the only way you will ever be able to live any kind of peaceful life. I've learned that some things must just be lived with! But many other stresses in life can be changed and some will even go away by themselves in time.

The second step is to decide if your big stresses are worth living with, such as the obnoxious neighbor or the demanding boss, or if you need to make a change. Then decide which of the other issues on your list you want to begin to deal with.

The third step is to take these stresses to God and ask for His help to deal with them.

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[GOD BLESS]

Take your time to deal with some of the larger stresses in your life. Pray about the problem and make sure you are in the will of God. I'm not Dear Abby, but if I can be of any help please don't hesitate to email me.

I HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A GREAT, STRESS FREE WEEK!

LOVE,
MEME

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