More Strength Less Stress, Please!

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Life Clutter, Prayer, Trusting God, Worship 3 Comments

There is a scene in the whimsical and quirky film The Princess Bride in which some bad guys were chasing the movie’s two main characters, Buttercup and Wesley. In order to escape, Buttercup and Wesley ran into the treacherous Fire Swamp. (Insert scary music and creepy feelings here.)

The Fire Swamp has three challenges: fire spurts, quicksand, and the ROUS – rodents of unusual size. (Stay with me…) At one point in the Fire Swamp adventure, Buttercup fell into a pit of dry quicksand, instantly vanishing. Her brave hero, Wesley, quickly grabbed a sturdy vine then plunged in to save his true love. Moments later both characters emerged from the quicksand gasping for breath, stunned by the events that just took place.

Life clutter can sometimes consume us just as fast and leave us gasping for breath, stunned.

When we find ourselves in the fire swamps, we ask question after question: How did this happen? How did I get here? How do I get out of this scary place? Does anyone know I’m in this pit? Who will be my hero?

Falling into the quicksand of situational fire swamps becomes a greater risk when we run on empty. Without a doubt, I’m more vulnerable on the days when my schedule is so full that my God-time is minimized.

You probably know what it feels like to have a day filled with activity but a heart filled with empty.

I imagine you, too, feel at times as if all you do is work, work, work and give, give, give.

You feel lonely among crowds of people and wonder if anyone really sees you or if anyone really cares.

At times, you have too many obligations, too much stress, and not enough strength.

In order to survive these pitfalls, we must wait upon God – the One who won’t grow tired or weary. He has strength readily available for us, and He knows where to direct our steps.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31, NIV)

King David said it like this, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:1-3a)

Fire swamps of life come and go. There’s really no avoiding them. We can, however, be spiritually prepared to face their challenges. God equips us – strengthens us – as we wait on Him. As we trust in Him. As we dwell with Him.

Have you refueled in His presence lately?

Take time to meet with God one-on-one today.

As the psalmist wrote, “Let us go to His dwelling place; let us worship at His footstool – arise, O LORD, and come to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might.” (Psalm 132:7-8)

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

Heavenly Father,
You are my Strong Tower, my Deliverer, and my Shelter. I’m running to You now. Please renew my strength. Please lead me with Your Holy Spirit and guide my day.
In Jesus’ Name,



Are there obligations in your life that could/should be eliminated?

Take a few moments to consider your schedule and your circumstances.

What needs to stay and what needs to go? Make a list and then make an action plan.

Thanks for doing life with me!



{Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith Podcast during your commute to and from work… or while you run errands, cook dinner, fold laundry, eat chips and guacamole… all the things!}

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(Lead singer for Ten Avenue North)



Comments 3

  1. You and God make an amazing team! Exactly what I needed to hear this morning. While I can’t do anything about the long hours a work project will require over the next week, I can make sure that I look to God for strength, comfort, and energy to get through the stressful days.
    Thank you for your words of encouragement!
    …and The Princess Bride? One the best movies ever! 😊

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