the weblog of Alan Knox

When I don’t deal with stress well…

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in discipleship, personal | 6 comments

When I don’t deal with stress well…

I’m usually a pretty mellow person. While it might not come through the net of ether – especially during online discussions or disagreement – I’m almost always light and carefree. Very few things stress me out…

But, the last two weeks or so has been different. I’ve been stressed out, and I don’t like it.

Now, I know what’s stressing me out… Or, I should say, I know all of the things that taken together are stressing me out. At this point, I can’t go into the details about everything that’s going on, because many of them are ongoing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share more in the next month or so.

But, really, the causes are not that important. None of them are life threatening or relationship threatening or anything like that. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still stressed.

A few times, I’ve had trouble going to sleep. Sometimes, I’m quiet or just want to spend time by myself. I’ve vegged out on video games. I’ve been discouraged. I’ve dealt with the stress in many different ways – but I’m still stressed.

Of course, I’ve prayed… often… regularly… now. I’ve read Scripture. I’ve talked with my family and some friends.

I know that I’m stressed, and I don’t like it.

Times like this are difficult… but often very important. Whether it’s stress or anxiety or depression or pain or illness or something else, it reminds us how desperately we depend on God.

What’s interesting is that in spite of the stress, my faith is strong, and I’ve never doubted God. I know and trust that he is in control. (Yes, I know this may sound contradictory… but, oh well.)

So, why am I sharing this with you? Do I want you to fix my stress problems? No. Do I want your pity or mercy? No, not really. Do I want you to pray for me. Sure, but, I always want you to pray for me. But, I didn’t write this so that you would pray for me.

Instead, I’m just trying to share more of myself with you. You may not care, and you may not want to read this kind of post, and that’s fine. But, to me, sharing all of life is important – even the parts that aren’t necessarily pretty. Right now, this is me.

I’m also hoping that this post will be encouraging to someone. Yep, encouraging. You see, too often Christians (especially those in the public eye) are all smiles and roses. But, life isn’t all smiles and roses. It doesn’t help others to pretend that everything is great when it’s not.

So, if you’re having a rough time too, just know that I’m right there with you.

So, right now, everything is not great in my life. Like I said, there are no big issues, but I’m not dealing with this stress well. (Thank God that my family has been extremely patient and caring.)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 1-19-2012

    Alan, I fear writing this comment because it could be misunderstood or even sound judgmental. I hope you will take it as encouragment from one brother to another.

    There is one thing I’d urge you to do that you did not list. You said you have prayed, but have you really “cried out.” As I look through the Old Testament and the New Testament to a lesser degree it seems that there is often a difference between prayer and “crying out.” I think “crying out” is prayer, but it is vocalized, desperate, often loud, always passionate and fervent prayer. There is, of course, a place for silent prayer, quiet prayer and prayer without ceasing. But I’ve become convinced that too often I fail to really cry out to God.

    It is not as if God is deaf or reluctant. But there just seems to be something in Scripture about God’s saints getting so desperate that there is nothing left to do but “cry out, cry aloud, cry out in a loud voice, and lift my voice to the Lord.” I think this is a unique and usually untried form of prayer.

    Perhaps you have done this or perhaps not. If not, fall to your knees, get on your face, throw your hands in the air and “cry out” to God for deliverance from stress and perhaps even your circumstances. You might need to devote some extended time in “crying out.” Maybe he won’t change your circumstances right away but he just might change you.

    Thanks for your transparency, brother, and I will cry out to God on your behalf.

  2. 1-19-2012


    I don’t consider your comment to be judgmental at all. I appreciate the encouragement.


  3. 1-19-2012

    Your post is a great encouragement to this fellow stressed traveler. Thank you.

  4. 1-19-2012


    I’m glad this post was encouraging to you!


  5. 1-20-2012

    Here are a few random thoughts on this subject, they may even qualify as tangential!

    Check out Psalm 13 as a great primer on “crying out.” But my advice to anyone is to pray in the Spirit at all times and maintain an attitude of thanksgiving, and follow no formulas. And here is where I seize the opportunity to insert another favorite Nee teaching. For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things. To Christ be the glory. Theologically we get the from Him and to Him part, it the through Him that we have a difficult time with.

    This post is somewhat analogous to the Brant’s discussion of “Is Jesus enough?” We need to be real, as Paul was when he confessed that he despaired of life itself, but at the same time, our ultimate reality is Christ Himself, in us, the hope of glory. That reality may be most manifest when we are at our most broken; what better way to reveal the treasure within the earthen vessel? In our weakness, His strength is made perfect. A great mistake is for someone to think, that because of some present circumstance, or mental state of affairs, that they are not able to “minister” in whatever way Jesus has called and equipped them.

  6. 1-23-2012


    You said, “In our weakness, His strength is made perfect. A great mistake is for someone to think, that because of some present circumstance, or mental state of affairs, that they are not able to “minister” in whatever way Jesus has called and equipped them.” That is so true… and a reminder that I need constantly, even when I’m not stressed out. Thanks!



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