I found a book on my two auto-immune diseases (polymyalgia rheumatica PMR, and giant cell arteritis GCA). It was written by the head of the PMR & GCA foundation in Great Britain, a PMR survivor, in conjunction with a number of specialists. I skimmed the book yesterday and will go back and re-read more thoroughly. I must say, it was the most impressive information I have seen in one place since my diagnosis. I think I will learn a lot!
The one thing that caught my eye as I was skimming through the chapters was information on stress. Apparently, stress makes PMR and GCA worse. The suggestion was to eliminate or control stress to reduce the pain and flares.
I did not actually laugh out loud, but I came close! Eliminate stress! That refrain is all around us, and it is easier to recommend than to do. The pain, fatigue, and stiffness of the diseases, accompanied by the side effects of the only medication that seems to work to fight them are sources of stress themselves.
While thinking about that, I was also bombarded with the mistaken notion that Christians never have stress since we have given all our cares over to the LORD.
Christians do have a resource for their stress that other do not. But part of maturing spiritually is to learn how to cast all our stress, burdens, and cares upon Him. We strive to avail ourselves of His resources through the power of the Holy Spirit, but like much of Christianity, it is a learning process. I am working at it but have not yet achieved perfection! Thankfully, He keeps reminding me to give it all to Him.
Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”