How to Deal with Stress God’s Way

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how to deal with stress God's way
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How to Deal with Stress God's Way

Imagine yourself on a narrow path carved into the side of this mountain.

But you aren’t walking – you are riding a mule. You gently sway from side to side as the mule plods along the path. His steps are deliberate and with every advance, you know he has done this many times before and doesn’t question his own ability for success.

The path begins to get narrower and narrower.

You feel like you are being squeezed on this mountain path, except that only one side has the protection of the mountain. You can even reach out and touch it, it is so close.

But the other side is straight down! You gently lean a bit toward the mountainside on your left, somehow imagining that its solid presence so close can ensure your safety from the abyss on your right.

As soon as you are comfortable with your reflective thoughts, you are jolted back to reality.

Your blood turns ice cold as you see in front of you that the path is totally washed out. The mule is going to have to jump about a meter gap to continue on the path!

Stress on a mountainsideSuddenly you realize that your life is in the hands, or rather, the hoofs, of this mule!

Pause right here.

Can you feel the stress?

Physically, your heart is pounding and you break out in a sweat.

Your eyes widen (or maybe you close them!) and you grip the saddle tighter.

You hold your breath . . .

This is what extreme stress feels like.

It can be crushing you, day after day, and you feel you have no recourse to change it – just like I had no way to change the direction or movement of that mule as we got closer to the washed out path the mule would have to jump!

how to handle stress God's WayI’ve written a book with this story and more about how we can learn How to Manage Stress: God’s Prescription for Turning Stress into Rest. The entire story is in the book but for a spoiler alert, I did make it safely across the gap (obviously!)

The stress I felt on the mule that day high up in the mountains of Ethiopia was a short-term stress – one that is handled best by a quick cry heavenward!

Standing next to a stressful ledge

Here we are as newly-weds in 1975 standing next to one of those scary ledges on a mountain. (This was not the same trip in the story though.)

But long term stress is a bit trickier and more difficult to remedy, especially when it is something like an unfair boss, a rebellious child, abuse of any kind, impending deadline, unpaid bills piling up – or whatever is uppermost in your mind right now as you read this.

God has a plan to help us through our long term stress, if we will listen and obey.

Many times you respond to stress in unhealthy ways and I have listed eight of them in the book.

When you respond to stress in unhealthy ways, you are only “surviving” your days. Every day is just another one to make it through – however you can.

But handling stress in a healthy way, God’s way, puts you in “thriving” mode.

And that’s where you want to be.
How do you deal with stress and do you think it is a healthy way or an unhealthy way?

Get your own copy of my eBook How to Handle Stress: God’s Prescription for Turning Stress into Rest and get on the narrow path to thriving amidst your stress, and dare I say, even resting!

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18 Comments… add one

Sarah Smith June 15, 2012, 1:17 pm

I am so glad to see God put back into healing! This post was great!

amyhagerup June 15, 2012, 3:45 pm

Hi Sarah, Yes indeed! So glad you commented. Come again.

Mel Thompson January 11, 2013, 1:08 am

Learning how to deal STRESS in our lives is the first step, but the next step is how do you deal with properly! I like how Jesus tell us what the BEST WAY to handle the pressure of dealing with it: “Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on ME” (John 14:1 AMP).

amyhagerup January 11, 2013, 4:48 pm

Thanks for sharing that, Mel. Wow! I love John 14:1 in the amplified. My mom used to use the amplified all the time. I’ll have to check out that version online for other favorite verses.

Helen Murray January 11, 2013, 1:26 pm

Thanks Amy for wise words and inspiration. My heart speeded up just thinking about your mountain-side experience and I’ll be back to see how the jump went!
Helen Murray recently posted..Carpet diemMy Profile

amyhagerup January 11, 2013, 4:47 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Helen. You made MY heart speed up just thinking again about that experience on the mountain! Hint: It has a good outcome. 🙂 Blessings on your day, Helen.

Cheryl Cope July 25, 2013, 5:40 am

Sounds like the key is TRUST, but it can be difficult to do that sometimes even though God is perfectly trustworthy. Your book sounds very interesting. I’m sure it will bless lots of people.
Cheryl Cope recently posted..Christian Quotes on Hope part 2My Profile

amyhagerup July 25, 2013, 1:53 pm

Thanks, Cheryl. Yes, trust is the key but that is easier said than done. My daughter took a trip last week and we gave her our GPS to use, and she trusted it. But it took her into Chicago on the way home!!! So it also depends how trustworthy the object of our trust is!!! Blessings, Amy

Cheryl Thomas July 26, 2013, 4:33 pm

Loved the story. It drew me right into your blog. Thanks for sharing your life lessons with us!
Cheryl Thomas recently posted..Play Your Hand!My Profile

amyhagerup July 27, 2013, 5:50 pm

Thanks, Cheryl. I sure appreciate your visiting and commenting. And your profile image is very attractive – makes me want to smile – and to know you better too. blessings, Amy

Steve Patterson December 12, 2014, 5:10 pm

Nice, that imagry was like wow. That is a tough spot to be, one false move by you or the mule, you both could be over the cliff, but it takes faith to trust in God just like riding that mule in the narrow faith. That trust we have is what helps us through those tough hard times. Thanks for sharing. (Saw you from Blogging for God)
Steve Patterson recently posted..Walking DeadMy Profile

amyhagerup December 12, 2014, 6:23 pm

Thanks, Steve. It really was an amazing trip. I’m glad you stopped by and commented.

Trivedi Effect March 7, 2015, 12:57 am

Stop stressing over little things. So much stress comes from getting worked up over petty little things—such as the person driving slowly in front of you, or listening to someone who has an opposing view on an insignificant subject. Use your self-control to ignore the little things that bug you. Talk it out. Express how you feel in words to a family, friend, or neighbor. The act of sharing your feelings with others for support or empathy can significantly reduce your stress level.

amyhagerup March 8, 2015, 4:20 pm

Thanks for adding value about ways to deal with stress!

JoJo Tabares July 16, 2016, 3:59 pm

Oh I am intimately familiar with chronic stress. My dh lost his job 18 months ago. We run two online businesses that have been sabotaged by Gundar the Technology Gremlin. Windows crashed. Then I was working from my iPad and it froze. Then I was working on my iPhone and IT froze. Then my site’s shopping cart didn’t work and I had to move my platform over which meant I had to completely redesign the site. At the same time, I’ve dealt with several chronic illnesses for over 35yrs and peri menopause for over 17 yrs. Several of these at once was difficult to handle but I did it fairly well until recently. We are now out of money, out of credit and I’m having surgery on Tuesday. I know God is there and I know He loves me, but this is very hard right now.

amyhagerup July 16, 2016, 7:34 pm

Wow – Jojo – that is a lot of stress! I’m so glad you know the Lord and I pray you will feel His everlasting arms carrying you through this hard time right now. Thanks for sharing. Praying for you, Amy

Cheryl Cope July 19, 2016, 2:23 pm

Sounds like a great book, thanks for the great teaser!
Cheryl Cope recently posted..Christian Video Review: Apostle Paul and the Earliest ChurchesMy Profile

amyhagerup July 20, 2016, 4:16 pm

You are welcome, Cheryl. Thanks for commenting.

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