Monday, March 16, 2009

Stress, a prayer, and a promise

Life can be stressful. Today was one of those days.

We had a meeting planned at school with some parents and their lawyer: not a promising prospect. As I prepared for work I paused and checked for “internal” messages. I basically threw up a prayer that sounded like, “God, got anything to help me today?”

I paused and a fragment of a verse came to mind: “No weapon forged against you…” That’s all I got, but it was all I needed. I went to, plugged in the snippet and found what I was looking for: Isaiah 54:17.

(During my 20s, 30s, and 40s I read the entire Bible on average of once a year. That’s why snippets of verses “live” in me. It’s not magical: it’s purposefully ingrained.)

Here’s the whole verse: “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me declares the LORD.”

Well, I immediately felt better. I felt more confident and assured as I went into a day that would hold… God knew what.

The anticipated stress did not actually materialize. The parents were no-shows and the meeting was postponed.

But anticipated stress is still stressful. One stress relieving strategy is to pause, check for messages, listen and see if God doesn’t have some message especially suited for you.

“Give us this day, our daily bread…” Sometimes it is bread for the soul that we need: He’s got that too.

A final thought. My favorite prayer in the Bible is the one “prayed” by Peter, who after walking on water began to sink. He said simply, “Help, Lord!” And Jesus put out his hand and helped him back into the boat.

So the next time you need help, take a page from Peter: “Help, Lord!” Someone may just give you a hand. (That was what I needed today: a little help. And I got it via some words of promise and comfort. Ahhhh…)


  1. Don, thank you for that reminder that although life is always bigger than we are, we can have a hope that is much larger than life.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I write to share with others and to remind myself. It's a win-win.


  3. Thanks for sharing, Don. "Thy will be done..." is also a great line. Kind of takes the pressure off and reminds us that we are not really in charge.

  4. Hi Don - What a great post. I love the Isaiah verse. It's so true that if we can let go and let God-things seem to go much better. Glad to have stumbled upon you.

  5. Deedee,

    Thanks for stopping by. The incident that caused me throw up this prayer is still on-going, but I'm amazingly unstressed.

    I agree that letting go, and letting God is good advice. Fenelon's book from about 1700 called "Let go" is still available on

    "...and the peace that passes understanding shall guard your heart..."

    That's what I'm talkin' about!


  6. I love the Isaiah verse. I might have to hang that on my wall.