This week at WNW we wrapped up the "Stressed Out" series. We opened the night with a quick competition. I asked for volunteers who thought they could compete in an "endurance" type competition. Two people jumped up and I told them that I was giving them a "really strong mint" and they would have to keep it in their mouth without chewing it or spitting it out. Whoever could endure would win a gift card to our local coffee shop. The truth was that they were getting bacon flavored mints. They smelled awful. However, even though it was disgusting they were both able to endure it and both will receive a gift card. We then discussed the things that we face that stress us out and that we want to get over as fast as possible. Some of the things listed were school, dentist appointment, eye doctor appointment, etc. Afterward we went into a worship set that included "Marvelous Light" (Charlie Hall), "God Is Able" (Hillsong), and "Mighty To Save" (Hillsong United).
I began the message with a quick recap of the previous two weeks and a catch up of the chapters between where were were last week and this week. We read Genesis 22:1-14 which is the famous story of when Abraham was tested by God on sacrificing his son Isaac. This is an amazing story of faith for us to learn much. However we focused mainly on the fact that the trip for Abraham would have been a 3 day journey. Even though Abraham was following God, he had to be incredibly stressed during this period. God had promised that he would be the father of nations and now was asking him to sacrifice his son. Abraham probably wanted to get this over as quick as possible. We all face these situations in life. We face stressful seasons where we want to get it over as fast as possible because we do not like waiting. So how do you deal with stress while waiting. We looked at the following ways:
1) Don't Wish It To Be Over
Easier said than done. If we are enduring a stressful season we usually want it to be as soon as possible. However Psalm 90:12 teaches us that life is short and precious and we should not wish our lives away.
2) Ask The Right Questions
If this is a test from God then we need to ask the right questions such as "What can I learn?", "How can I grow?", and "How can God be glorified?"
3) Know That You Are Not Alone
You never have to question during these seasons if you are waiting by yourself. You may feel, or may actually be abandoned by the people in your life. However God never leaves us and is there with us as we read in Deuteronomy 31:8.
The truth is we are all going to face stressful and difficult moments in life. We must be sure that in the stressful times of waiting that we do not wish it to be over. During that season we need to seek out what God is teaching us. We can rest assured that we never have to go through anything alone in life. That is definitely a reason to celebrate!