I sometimes have a tendency to be a stuffer. Taking on stresses and just stuffing them in, adding more each day, until, like an overloaded trash bag or an overblown balloon, the stress can suddenly pop out.
As I was reading on this rainy day, I realized that God gives us some ways to deal with stress.
When a balloon is too full, we can decrease the “stress” by letting the air out. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and worthy of praise. My method of pondering on these things is through art and journaling. Putting pen to paper, brush to canvas, lettering scripture, or painting cards are all ways to let out a little air from that overfilled balloon of life.
“He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.” (Exo 35:35)
Another way God gives me to relieve the pressure is with the sweetness of friends and wise counsel. For me, sometimes just the act of speaking my frustrations out loud to a listening ear is enough to let some of that frustration air out or remove some of the trash threatening to burst the bag.
Proverbs 27:9 says oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
Finally, there are hundreds of times in the Bible that God tells us to pray. God is ready and willing to listen to not just our prayers of praise or thanksgiving but also our heartfelt laments and “venting” cries.
In December of 2020, we had another tornado warning. It made me mad. My balloon was ready to burst; after all, I hadn’t even finished putting my life back together after the last crisis. I didn’t go into the closet, but rather went on my front porch and had an honest and angry conversation with God. When I was finished, my balloon had shrunk back, and the peace that only God can provide was filling my soul. Shalom—not a peace of circumstance, but Shalom in spite of the circumstance.
Psalm 139 tells us that God knows us fully and is always with us.
So on this rainy Saturday, if you are feeling full to the point of bursting, talk to God, vent to a Christian friend, and then top it off with creating something in whatever area God has given you to create! My prayer for us all is that the God of peace will fill us to overflowing with Shalom!
Carole McGrathPrint This Post