joanne-slide-mobile-208x300by Joanne Ellison

Everyone has stress. The definition of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstance. 

How many of you can relate to mental or emotional strain…. or tension or adverse demanding circumstances?  We all can. Stress is a part of our lives however as Christians do we handle it differently than those who are not Christ followers? Honestly for me it depends. Most days I do fairly well. And then there are days when I feel as though I am drowning.  I spend most days with women who feel the same way.

Recently I met with a young woman who felt as though she was in a pressure cooker. Her marriage and her kids had sucked the life out of her. However as we talked, I saw peace…. supernatural peace. She shared with me the extreme difficulties in her family life and how she made a decision to press deep into Jesus. So today I want to share with you what she told me because what she describes is a picture of abiding in Christ.

She told me that she awakens very very early (not everyone can do this particularly if you are a night owl:) And she seeks the Lord– praying, listening, reading the Word. She plays worship music recognizing that God inhabits the praises of His people.

And… here is the real key… She begins to thank God for anything and everything. She looks for God in all circumstances. Don’t get me wrong she is not thanking God for what is going on (although she has said it is drawing her closer to Him). She is remembering and thanking Him for the gift of life, friends, a roof over her head, a country where she can worship freely, etc. And then she described to me– unspeakable joy– unnatural joy that welled up as she praised and thanked Him.

Friends, life can be stressful. But God!! He is the reason we live and have hope. He is the One who captures our heart and mends our heart and binds up our wounds. Stress is a part of life. But how we handle it makes all the difference.

Postnote: I am not minimizing what you are going through, nor what my friend is going through. I am simply offering Jesus as the answer. He is always the answer.

Whatever is true, whatever is notable whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Joanne Ellison is a graduate of the College of Charleston and an active member of Saint Andrew’s Church, Mount Pleasant, SC.   200 attend her weekly bible study at Saint Andrews and free live streaming allows people around the world to tune in. Connect with her at