Stress. Say the word and people feel it. Stress lives so close to the surface of our lives that it is not just a word but a reality of every age and circumstance. I can't count how many people that describe the stress that lives in their homes, relationships, works, and within their mind, body, and soul.
So. How do we battle stress? I have been thinking of the lessons I learned from the conference I directed for many years called OASIS. I stepped into the position after Rubena Poole, the founder and director retired. Rubena had been assigned with a task to start a conference in an extremely stressful time of life. It was the one-more-thing-to-do that took life to an overwhelming level. Completely exhausted, she went home and took a nap. And, God spoke to her. He gave her a picture of rest in the midst of the stress from the obscure book, Ezekiel:
Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing." (Ezekiel 47:12)The vision was the Sanctuary, representing the presence of God, an OASIS where we could be saturated with the River of Life. In the OASIS we would be reborn, restored, and renewed as we gave ourselves back to God. And, after being in the Sanctuary, we could return to our lives realizing that the source of our life comes from the Living Water.
God provided an Oasis for the Exodus people . . . they had a lifetime of oppressive stress . . . they needed an experience of new life.
Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water (Exodus 15: 27)Can you imagine the relief of the people when they entered Elim, a true Oasis? They no longer were under the thumb of their persecutors but could stop . . . breathe . . . rest . . . and experience the healing presence of God.
We, too, must purposefully stop and go to the Sanctuary to be reborn, restored, and renewed each day. An Oasis in the midst of busyness will not happen unless we intentionally stop what we are doing and enter in. The OASIS invitation seems more important than ever:
Come to the Living Waters!
Lay down your stress.
Step into the Sanctuary.
Experience a rebirth . . . restoration . . . and renewal.
Learning to KickStart the day in the Living Water ,
(written by Kerrie L. Palmer © 2010 All Rights Reserved)
When all was said and done, God provided an oasis for the people. They came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. They set up camp there by the water. Exodus 15: 27
Afterward Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem, but they stayed in Judea for a while and baptized there. (John 3:22, NLT)Imagine being one of the individuals Jesus and his disciples baptized. The point of the baptism was for the individual to demonstrate the decision to enter into a new life. The individual was freed from the old way of living, leaving it all in the watery grave. The baptism signified a new beginning based on a relationship with God.
That's it . . . we are to live every hour of every day in an active participating relationship with God.
The messes of life are impossible to face without God. With God all things are possible.
Concentrate on the presence of God rather than the circumstances of living.
Use 96 minutes (one minute of sixteen hours of every day until next Sunday)of this week to become more aware than ever of the presence of God.
Respond to the presence of God rather than the messy parts of the day.
Participate with the work of God in every part of the day.
Refuse to activate your old ways and habits of living.
Remember nothing is impossible with God. Nothing.
Learning to KickStart the day taking captive every thought in alignment with Logos,