There is nothing about stress that I enjoy. Since I was little (like 4 years old) I’ve been an anxious, nervous person. Sometimes my family jokes that it’s a hereditary thing. As a result of worry, I’ve had multiple migraines and stomach issues and- until college- had obviously-chewed fingernails.
As a chronic people-pleaser, I’ve lost sleep and missed meals over inter-personal conflict. Too often, I rush to get advice from people I respect so that I can feel validated. It’s a viscous way to live.
The worry and the people-pleasing aren’t the real problems, they’re just fruit of the tree of selfishness. I want life to be easy, so I tend to get anxious when it’s not. I want to be in control, so my stomach convulses in airports where so many things can go wrong and I can’t stop it. I want people to affirm (or envy) me, so I wear myself out by seeking their approval.
You see, I like easy. I want life to be smooth sailing and stress free. On one hand, that’s great. But here’s the rub: an easy life wasn’t promised to me when I followed Christ. I’m made more Christlike through stress and suffering, not easy times. Following Jesus means rejection, uncertainty, and looking like a moron to the world. Control freaks and people pleasers, of whom I am the chief, have to be overhauled by the Gospel. I have to honestly answer: Is the righteousness of Jesus and the acceptance of God good enough for me? Or do I want more? Do I say, “Yeah, Jesus is all I want and need,” but then live like I’ve got to have an easy, friendly life?
I see God, in a not-too-easy process, removing these idols from my life. He’s stripping the approval of the people I idolize. He’s throwing us into an uncertain, uneasy life. It’s not easy, but it’s good. Easy doesn’t make me depend on Jesus or desire to read the Bible. Difficult situations and stress do, though. So I’m praising God for the uneasiness of life. For the conflict and the stress and the things that I hate in the moment, but thank Him for later.image source