There’s been a bit more conflict than normal at our house lately. My kids usually get along pretty well. We don’t generally have door-slamming, and no big fights where we’re screaming harsh words at each other or throwing fists. I’m glad we don’t have that, but it distresses me when we do have the sort of conflicts that arise.
Problem is, we’ve been stuck indoors for a week due to constant rain – something we aren’t used to here in southern California where it’s almost always sunny and basically warm. Our weather forecasters have it good here. We just don’t know how to handle this.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the rain. My kids actually love it, too. Even our cats love the rain – which is truly odd. Only the dogs seem to dislike it.
But being kept inside has had an effect on all of us. Plus being homeschooled means the kids don’t get out of the house for even school right now.
So like I said – conflicts have arisen.
Blessed and Stressed
The thing is, the rain is a blessing. We’re practically a desert here, still pulling out of an epic drought, so the land really needs all this rain. I see it coming down and just praise God that He’s giving us a good long drink right now.
Then it got me to thinking. Sometimes going through a blessing can be stressful too. It’s strange to say, but look around at the blessings in our lives.
- Being able to bear children is a blessing – but raising those children includes lots of stress.
- Having a job is a blessing – but doing well in it, being worthy of your hire, that’s stressful.
- Being a spouse is a blessing – but married life brings stress along with it.
- On the other hand, being single is a blessing in and of itself, God says, because the single person can devote their entire attention to what God wants of them – but singleness also brings a set of stresses and pressures.
Blessed To Stressed
As I thought about it, every blessing I can think of brings with it some measure of pressure.
There’s a stressfulness to blessings, and there’s a blessing to stresses.
Maybe that’s not bad, though…
What is stress anyway?
It’s just pressure.
We spend so much time trying to relieve stress in our society, that I think we’re forgetting the good aspects of it. All within a good balance, of course, but stress pressures us to do our best. It refines our thinking, focuses us in on what’s truly important, makes us finish what we started. Stress itself may not be the problem – but rather how we perceive that stress.
If we’re constantly trying to alleviate the pressure, are we focusing on the things we need to get done?
The Blessing of …Stress?
A blessing is perhaps more than just something heaped upon us so we can sit back and enjoy it. Blessings often come with added responsibilities built in. On the flip side, stresses often come with hidden blessings built in.
Note: Please understand I’m not making light of trials, and certainly not downplaying the trauma of something really terrible that might happen. I’m speaking in general.
In general, stress makes us stronger. It’s pressure placed on us, and when we push back against that pressure, we grow stronger. Without stress, we’d be weaklings unable to walk through life.
So I guess when I look at stress like that, maybe it will make me look at the little things that happen throughout my day in a different light.
Even the fact that the kids are fighting more these last few days is a stress on me. If I’m going to be consistent, then I need to also acknowledge that that stress is supposed to be making me stronger, exercising my spiritual (and mom) muscles.
I can say this – blessings are no less a blessing because they might bring pressure along with them. So really, blessings are supposed to help us grow, as well, right? Just like the stress of trials helps us grow, the stress of a blessing should do the same thing.
One thing I’m going to really work on this year is looking at how my blessings need to grow me. I don’t want to focus so much on the trials that those are all I can see, but I also don’t want to stop growing. So I’m going to focus on how the good things in my life can keep growing me stronger for Christ.
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