As I read chapter 2 of “Stressed-Less Living” this week, I couldn’t believe all the stress-related illnesses Tracie Miles had: consistent blurry vision, chronic headaches, heart palpitations, and IBS. I stress ate, so most of the consequences of my stress are visible to others because I am overweight. My body also hides some effects that aren’t as obvious; I have pain due to arthritis. My rheumatologist has said that my spine is similar to an arthritic person’s spine who is in their 70’s (I just turned 52). Studies have shown that for each pound of body weight lost, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress among overweight people with osteoarthritis of the knee, thus giving proof that my excess weight is very bad on my already damaged joints. I am ashamed that I have NOT taken very good care of the Holy Spirit’s temple and that I used food to comfort myself when I was stressed. At the end of Chapter 2, Tracie encourages us to talk with God about our stress and how it has affected our relationship with Him. Here is my prayer:
Heavenly Father, I praise You as my Redeemer. You have rescued me and continue to save me from my sins. Thank You, LORD Jesus!! Thank You for loving a sinner such as me!!
Father, please forgive what I have done to Your temple. I made myself too busy and then handled the stress the wrong way. I’ve destroyed this temple because I comforted myself with food instead of sitting at Your feet and asking for Your help and Your guidance. Please forgive my sinful pride. Please forgive my anger, my impatience, and my grumpiness when I was stressed out to the max. Please forgive how I allowed my sin to be a hindrance in my relationship with You because I went to food first. I repent of this sin.
Thank You for bringing me through these times of self-imposed stress and for the lessons You taught me during these times. Thank You for protecting me and my children. Thank You for bringing me to this study of “Stressed-Less Living” to show me how I can lead a life more pleasing to You. Thank You for helping me restore this temple as I lose weight and make it strong again. Thank You for Your love and guidance which gives me peace. Father, I love You so much and I am so very thankful that You have never given up on me! I ask that You please continue to hold me accountable and continue to show me how to repair this temple, so You may be glorified. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Note about the above hand cutout:
I made this cutout 12 years ago when my son was in the 8th grade. Daniel started having bully problems soon after we moved here, so I copied his hand onto card stock, cut it out, and then put a prayer for him on it using Psalm 31:20.
Daniel joined the Army in 2009 and when he left for Afghanistan in December of 2010, I “found” his hand cutout tucked away in my Bible. Daniel was a medic in the Army, serving at a Forward Operating Base very close to the Pakistan border (not too far from where Osama bin Laden was found). I again used his hand print as a prayer prompt, only this time instead of bullies, I asked the LORD to keep him hidden from the evil schemes of men. Today is Daniel’s last day in the Army…today I am on my knees in thanksgiving as the LORD has answered my prayers!!