Stress: Lessons From a Plant
With the threat of the Coronavirus it's no surprise we're stressed--or even fearful. We've never been in a situation like this before. We don't need to let the seeds of fear take root. So, what to do?
My husband is a Master Gardener. Recently, we talked about stress. He said, "Do you know that plants get stressed, too?" I shook my head. I'd never thought about it. "A plant becomes vulnerable if conditions aren't right," he said, for example, if a plant has too little (or too much) of such essentials as water, sunlight, or nutrients.
He went on to explain that when a plant is compromised, it produces hormones that make it susceptible to infestation and disease. The bugs smell the hormones and begin feasting on the plant, damaging it, or even destroying it. Healthy plants can get bugs, too, but the type of hormones they produce are ones that attract predators to come after the bugs, which helps prevent damage or disease.
If we become compromised, it can cause us to be stressed, too. This brings us questions we an ask: are we taking caring of ourselves? Eating right? Getting enough sleep? Exercising? Staying in touch with loved ones and friends? Doing our best to maintain our physical, mental, and spiritual health? Taking time to do things we enjoy?
Back to the plants. When they're not stressed they flourish, grow, and develop defenses against pests, bugs, and disease. Now, back to us. When we're not stressed we can maintain better physical, mental, and spiritual health, which makes us more resilient to whatever might come our way.
THE "Master Gardener" of all Creation formed us, but not with a spirit of fear. We did that to ourselves. Fear is not from God. If we are fearful, we need to ask ourselves where it is coming from. I think we can all agree that evil exists in the world, so we must be wary. Deceit can stake a claim on our vulnerability. Once it takes root, it festers, damages, and destroys, just like the pest will due to a vulnerable plant.
Living in a state of fear leads to panic. We don't need that right now. Instead, we need to put the fear aside, girding ourselves with strength to fight the battle that is before us.
The Bible tells us not to fear. It's not easy to do, but it is necessary if we want to live with a spirit of hope that allows us to flourish, just like the plant that proliferates in good soil.
If you feel stressed, you're not alone. We're all in this difficult situation together. My prayer is that we will keep our "roots" grounded in the good soil of THE Master of all Creation. He offers strength and resilience through Him--and a spirit of peace, hope, and love.
(Special thanks to Rich Johnson, Master Gardener, for the inspiration and information contained in this blog).
Bible Verses for Encouragement:
'Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." - Isaiah 35:4
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:34
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." - Psalm 34:4
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -1 Peter 5:6-7
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