Your Body Can Handle More Than You Think

834859_17786657

I recently watched a TED talk about stress by Kelly McGonigal. (you can watch it here.)

Being a self confessed ‘stresser,’ I was fascinated by McGonigal’s premise that stress in itself is nowhere near as damaging to our health and wellbeing as we have been inclined to think. Rather, she claims, it is the mere belief that stress is harmful to our health, which causes such drastic ill effects.

As I watched the talk, I found myself reflecting on something that has always astounded me. The human body has a phenomenal capacity to endure suffering. We can handle far more than we can even imagine, it’s just that, most of the time, our body doesn’t let on to this fact. Our panic and fear-of-impending-doom responses often kick in early, as they are well designed to do, but sometimes that leaves us with the feeling that something that will cause us no harm at all, is an imminent threat.

I could immediately see connections to my faith. God has not promised us an easy ride, in fact, Christians have almost been guaranteed hardship, and yet we have also been promised that we will be able to endure. How often do we fall into harm’s way, not because we have been given more than we can bear, but because we have given into the temptation of worry and anxiety?

Perhaps taking our anxieties first to the Throne of Grace will give us greater protection from harm, than avoiding challenging situations.

What if David knew?

mylna-cave_2511893

I’ve had a note scrawled in my Bible for years now. I can’t even remember the circumstances surrounding me writing it, but it’s struck me a few times since:

Imagine if David knew, while he was in the cave, singing alone to God, that people would find comfort in his songs 3,000 years later; that the book that contained his songs would be directly from God; that it would be the best-selling book of all time.

I can be fairly sure that David had no clue, but I can’t help wondering, whether if he did, it suddenly would have all seemed worth it. Like us, David had times when he was alone, cold and despairing. He was in danger, overcome with fear and felt helpless. In the midst of the storm, he cried out to His God, with no comprehension of its significance in God’s big picture plan.

Our words may not be written down in scripture for millions of people to read over thousands of years, but like David, we often cannot see the way that God can and will use our own legacy.

As you go through the storms of life, remember that your time here is short, but that the beauty and influence that can be worked in you through the hands of the Potter do not fade away.

One day, I have no doubt, it will all be worth it.