Combat Stress: The “Beat”down

My pastor, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, often quotes a line he heard from one of his mentors.

Your life should revolve around the rhythm of your relationship with God.

I identified with the statement on a few levels from the moment I heard it. I believe music is sown into the foundation of the Earth. Birds, whales and crickets sing to communicate. Ocean waves move with the flow of the wind. Listen closely to the beat of your footsteps, of your heart. If something disrupts the melody, the flow or the beat, then the song becomes noise, causing your head to ache or your skin to crawl.

I have found a rhythm in my life. It is a rhythm that works for me. Sometimes it’s hard to stay on beat. I find myself going a little too fast or a little too slow. In those times, I must stop and listen. Listen for the beat. Listen for the rhythm. Then, I am able to join in with the conductor.

I recently did a YouVersion Bible devotional on how to deal with stress called Finding Your New Rhythm. As soon as I read the title, I knew I had to put it on my to do list. For 5 days, I read scriptures and listened to soothing music behind a soft voice giving gentle reminders to my spirit.

The first day, I was reminded of God’s love and to rest in that love. The next day, I saw a little girl. The little girl God longs for me to be. The one who moves, as the devotion said, “unhesitatingly, knowing where she was going but never knowing the way.” God loves that little girl and would never let anything happen to her.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…
-Jeremiah 29:11

I was reminded, midway through the devotion, that God sings over me. Sometimes, he just wants a few moments so I can hear his song. The fourth day reminded me to keep my heart filled with Him. I thought about my heart beat and how it should be synchronous with my Father’s. I can tell when my rhythm is off. My response to circumstances is what let’s me know I have missed a beat. I have allowed something into my heart, that has thrown off my rhythm. I have to get it back. Once I get it back, the final day of the devotion reminded me to trust the rhythm. Trust His pace.

Stress comes in many forms but conquering it, always begins in the mind. The five days spent on the Combat Stress devotion, provides a beautiful mental strategy for a common fight. The devotion is by and is available on the Bible app by YouVersion.

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