“STRESSED WITH BELLS ON”

VICKY PHOTO

Vicky Stephenson, contributor for today’s blog post

As those of you who know me have realised at the moment I am stressed, “Stressed with bells on” and pretty exhausted. This is all due to unwise decisions made in the past (but that’s a whole other blog). So for the next 2 months I have to just, as my Australian friends would say “Suck it up, buttercup”!

However in the middle of this there are still daily decisions to make and so often I forget this.

Luckily God doesn’t forget or let me get away with it. Sadly I let the hint in Eddie’s sermon on ‘what is on your horizon when you wake each day’ wash over me so, God had to move to louder prompts.

When I wake each morning do I think “Thank you God I’m alive, saved and redeemed. My kids and husband are healthy, we have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge and your good works laid out before us to achieve today.”NO!!   I go ARGH I’m still tired, there isn’t any bread rolls for packed lunches and there are road works on the M32!

God obviously got a bit fed up of this and so used 2 different biblical texts to hit me over the head.

Firstly a sermon by our minister in Australia (love podcast sermons you can listen to in the car).

Numbers 11

NIV has wailing, ESV has complaining and weeping and the Message has grumbling and whining but obviously an Australian preacher sums it up as whinging.

11 Now the people complained/whinged/moaned/grumbled about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

 

God had had enough of their whinging, but did that stop them? No!

Next they were on about not having meat despite the miraculous daily bread of manna. Now Moses had had enough of them as well.

 

10 Moses heard the whining, all those families whining in front of their tents. God’s anger blazed up. Moses saw that things were in a bad way.

11-15 Moses said to God, “Why are you treating me this way? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? Did I conceive them? Was I their mother? So why dump the responsibility of this people on me?

Moses didn’t want to have to listen to it either. You can read the rest of the story, they got their meat but it was not a happy ending.

So first hint that maybe God has had enough of listening to my pity party.

Next day quiet time; reading Jude 16 and grumblers come up (belly achers the Message calls them.)

 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Jude is contrasting these people with:

 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

I know which group I think I’m in but do my actions and grumblings show it?

Picture1So now I realise each morning there is a decision which needs Godly wisdom. Will I allow the world to drag me down or will I start the day praising without ceasing, thanking God in every circumstance?

Maybe with this the stress burden will lift just a little and I can see light at the end of the tunnel, all the stuff still needs to be done but the heart attitude has changed.

Praise God for his Word and the Spirit’s prompting allowing light to penetrate the darkness and remind me what truly matters.

 

 

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