GREAT MEDICINE FOR SOCIAL STRESS
Getting to know people is usually a delight to me. But typically, I don’t look forward to large social gatherings. Because of the noise, distractions and differing motives in attending large gatherings, I’ve found conversation can be dull and lack transparency.
The past weeks presented opportunities to be part of large gatherings. In anticipation of these social functions, I became aware of increasing tension in my neck, head and shoulders. This tension threatened to become an annoying headache. So, I sat myself down for a good transparent talking to.
“Bonnie, these social functions are an opportunity for you to encourage others with a smile and a few words of compliments and hope. Maybe, if you went with the expectation that your presence might help others and others might be an encouragement to you, the experience might be enjoyable.”
As I did some stretching exercises, I pondered the truths I had just spoken to myself and followed with this prayer. “God, I’m sorry for the worry and stressful thoughts I’ve been entertaining. Help me to be thankful for these social opportunities. Help me to expect you to use them for all of our good. Give my mind and body peace so I’m not tortured with wrong thinking that anticipates bad and not good.”
Sensing some lessening muscle tension, I whispered a thank you and stayed in the place of prayerful thankfulness and song as I went about my day. Awhile later, I recognized the tightness in my neck, head and shoulders was completely gone as well as the threat of headache.
The great medicine of expecting good with thanksgiving and resting in this truth did its good work. I had to recognize and take responsibility for my wrong thinking. And then ask for help from the one who is able to give me hopeful thoughts.
This great thinking brought me the peace I needed to expect some good to come out of the less enjoyable gatherings and to really enjoy the others. I experienced it all without physical distress because of the great medicine of emotional and spiritual peace.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.(NLT: Philippians 4: 4 – 7)