December 30, 2018

Seasonal Stressbusters: 4 Biblical Examples

“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”—2 Kings 6: 16-17 (KJV)

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This is a sacred, exciting time of year. Many people are full of hope and optimism. We gladly celebrate the birth of our Savior. The coming of a new year gives us a sense of renewal, as well.

Time Out! I’m Overwhelmed!

What happens when we become overloaded with special activities or obligations? That’s common, especially when extended family gets together for the holidays. Hosts need to plan bigger meals and activities.

For some, the holidays bring up unpleasant memories of loss or illness. It’s hard to balance the devastating, enduring sadness with the cheerfulness of the season.

The Effects of Stress

Stress absolutely has an effect on our bodies. A (Reader’s article lists the following characteristics:
  • Vulnerability to illness
  • Irritability
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Loss of focus

Healthy Reactions to Stress

Here are some cases from the Bible. These well-known figures used peace and trust in God to deal with times of great trauma:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3)

These three teens refused to worship the gods of Babylon, or the statue of the king, Nebuchadnezzar. They were told they’d be thrown into the fiery furnace, if they didn’t comply. The Jewish boys told the ruler their god was able to deliver them. Even if He didn’t, they weren’t going to worship in the manner of the Babylonians.

The Shunammite woman whose son was raised from the dead by Elisha (2 Kings 4: 18-37)

This lady didn’t get hysterical when her son died. She calmly went to search out the prophet, Elisha. The Bible says she said “All is well,” several times. She didn’t show passion until her mission was accomplished and she found the leader.  She fell at his feet and begged his help.

The servant of Elisha (2 Kings 6: 14-16)

This man was concerned that the Israelite forces were completely surrounded, and outnumbered, by the Syrians. The prophet prayed his helper’s eyes would be opened. The man saw the enemy forces were encircled by legions of heavenly warriors. (This scripture passage is found above.)

The Widow of Zarepath ( 1 Kings 17: 10-21)

This woman of faith didn’t even have enough food in her house to feed herself and her son more than once. She calmly planned to fix their last meal and prepare to die. She told Elijah that, when he asked her for food.

The wise man directed the lady to prepare his bread first. The widow would then have enough for herself and her son. She and her son had plenty of food for many days.

My Conclusion

“...And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.” --Dietrich Bonhoeffer (from

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Are you able to find peace in the middle of stress?

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