UnStress for Success: An Inspirational Story

Their new coach, a fit, muscular, and confident young man, stood before his new class—a group of mothers who were excited to shed some excess weight and flab that had come with having children. Ladies, you all want to be able to one day look in the mirror and be excited about what you see. It’s my job to help you get there and the good news is, I know how to do that. But, if there is anything that will make this effort more difficult, it’s this… He bent over and picked a small light dumbbell.
Would anyone like to guess how much this weighs? he said to this excited and engaged group. A few of them shouted out their answers ranging from 1 to 5 lbs. The correct answer is 5 lbs., and you’ll all find this easily manageable. But, the weight doesn’t really matter because the feel of the weight changes depending on how long you hold it, and with that, he held it out straight in front of him. He didn’t say a word but kept holding it straight out in front of him while engaging with their eyes back and forth across the room.
After a minute of silence, he finally spoke. The weight of this dumbbell won’t change, but it would get heavier! It would get heavier to me, the longer I held it. It may seem easy to hold it out straight in front of me for a minute. But, if I held it out for an hour, this 5 lb. weight would seem heavier. And the longer I had to hold it, the heavier it would get. That is exactly what happens to the cares, anxieties, and burdens you carry around each day.  
Mothers, you know how many things you have to think about and take care of, hour-by-hour, each and every day. Just the obligations that come with being a mother seem endless. But add to that, worrying about things you cannot change, and you’ve just unhealthily overloaded yourself! God did not design and create you to carry all of that. If you don’t get rid of what may seem like small manageable burdens or problems, they will become heavier and heavier. They will distract you and interrupt the success of the goals you have in mind. You can’t afford to hold onto or carry them. 
With a big smile on his face and with a softness in how his words were spoken, he continued… And you weren’t meant to carry them! The Lord tells us that carrying the weight of these burdens is His job! Psalms 55:22 says, “Cast your burdens on the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. ” And to make His point even stronger, He says again in 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”
So ladies, when you wake up each morning, just before you begin to engage with your day, pause first and lay your cares at the feet of the Lord, knowing He cares for you. Thank Him for allowing you to lay them at His feet. And, just before you put your head on the pillow and turn out the light each night, again lift your heart to the Lord and give them to Him! Do this, and you’ll be able to focus on the goals we have here without getting distracted! Do this and I’ll get you before your mirror with a smile in no time at all. Shall we begin? 

Philippians 4:6 (TLB) “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt


God’s Purpose Behind Your Problems

My troubles turned out all for the best. They forced me to learn from your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine. Psalm 119:71-72(Msg)

Life is a series of problem-solving opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you – depending on how you respond to them.

Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:

1. God uses problems to DIRECT you – Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.”Pr. 20:30(GN)

2. God uses problems to INSPECT you – People are like teabags if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you?

When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. (James 1:2-3, NCV)

3. God uses problems to CORRECT you – Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something – health, money, a relationship – by losing it.

It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws. (Ps. 119:71-72, LB)

4. God uses problems to PROTECT you – A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend of mine was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when his boss actions were uncovered.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good. (Gen. 50:20, NIV)

5. God uses problems to PERFECT you. – Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship with God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity.

We can rejoice when we run into problems they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. (Rom. 5:3-4, LB)

Here’s the point: God is at work in your life – even when you do not recognize it or understand it. But it’s much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him!