13. Have Backups - Psalm 94:19
Psalm 94:19 - When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
One of the doctors who was treating me for migraine headaches years ago asked me what was stressing me out. I laughed and said that I wasn’t having any stress. He told me that everyone has stress we just don’t always know it.
Yes, we all know the kind of stress we deal with when nothing is going according to our plans or when everything seems to go wrong. We all know the stress of screaming kids, loud noises, and flashing lights. But what about the stress you don’t seem to see?
What the doctor revealed to me is that stress can be anything that is out of your routine or comfort zone. You get in an elevator that seems to stop at every floor but yours. Someone left crumbs on your desk. You get in your car and you notice the gas gauge indicates less fuel than you thought was in the tank. You get in the express lane at the grocery and the lady in front of you clearly has more than 20 items. Yes, this is stress too.
One of my little stresses is when I go to mail a letter and there is no stamps. My mind immediately flashes to the long line at the post office and the drive over there. Then when I finally get ready to go I can’t find my key to the car because someone forgot to put it back. When I finally get home I can’t get in my house because the key to the house was on the ring I couldn’t find earlier.
One way to avoid some of the little stresses in life is to think ahead and have backups: extra keys, extra stamps, extra money, etc..
You also need to have a backup plan. Living in the mountains we get some very windy days. One thing that cause me extra stress is when I hear the trash cans go rattling down the road toward the ditch or waking up to find all the garbage scattered across my lawn and in my neighbors yard. Recently I have paid a little closer attention to the weather so that if I know it is going to get windy I simply put the garbage cans in the shed. This simple backup plan keeps us from stressing out.
Living in the mountains you have to be ready for snow, ice, wind, and the power outage that can come with them. We have a kerosene heater and some fuel for just such emergencies. We also keep plenty of batteries, flashlights, and candles.
A few years ago we were living at the coast when a hurricane came through. We were prepared and did well still having lights as 2/3 of the storm had already pasted. But in that last big bite of the hurricane the lights went out. I thought it was going to be horrible but we rather enjoyed the peace and quiet, eating off the grill, and living by candle light. In a way it was kind of like a retreat or campout!
May God bless you today as you work out your backup. My God’s consolation bring you joy when the stressful day comes.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, Why do I sweat the small stuff? Why do I let a speck of sawdust trip me up like a fallen tree in my path? Help me to let go and to plan ahead. Thank you for the peace that I find in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your love, grace, and consolation. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!