Life Without Lack: Quitting Stress (Week 2)

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About This Material
Lent is the 46-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It’s meant to be a time for confession, repentance, grief, fasting, and meditation on Scripture — preparing our hearts to celebrate resurrected life with Jesus on Easter. We as a church are keeping this tradition by meditating on Psalm 23 and practicing quitting something each week. If you have any encouragements or suggestions related to CG Material, please email cgmaterial@realitysf.com.

Meditating on Psalm 23:2-3a
(We pray with the Psalm to worshipfully cultivate intimacy with God.)

“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters — Take a few minutes as a group to express brief prayers of gratitude for specific aspects of God’s intricate creation. For example, “Thank you for the blackberry bushes in my grandmother’s backyard, Lord,” or, “Thank you for the laughter of my nieces, Lord.”

He refreshes my soul — Take 5 minutes in silent prayer and reflection:

  • How does my soul feel stressed, stretched, and in need of refreshing?
  • What does God have to say to your soul? Listen and note any words or impressions.


Interacting with the Scripture: 1 Kings 19:9-13 and Matthew 8:23-27
(We interact with the Scripture to better know God and His Scripture’s message for our lives.)

  1. Each of these verses describe the way God interacts with creation. What does this reveal about the character and values of God?
  2. Imagine the distress of the disciples on the boat in the storm. What might they have thought about Jesus’ reaction to the storm?
  3. What do these Scriptures say about God’s desires for His people in stressful circumstances?
  4. If you read these passages as a mirror to examine your own life, what do you see? Where are you in need of God’s guidance toward stillness?


Quitting Stress
(This Lent season, we will take up an accountable practice of fasting from something each week — and not just quitting a behavior, but also a way of life. Split into smaller groups, possibly by gender, to share deeply.)

Share vulnerably with your smaller group:

  1. Reflecting on the practice you chose last week for Quitting Worry, give an account of how it went. Would you like to continue this practice?
  2. What is stressful in your life? Which areas of stress are beyond your control, and which areas of stress are your choosing? How do you want God to help you?


Choose and Declare a Practice of Quitting Stress
(Take on one of the options below or create your own. We will have opportunities to give an account of how it was to practice these each week.)

  1. Take two 2-minute breaks each day to visualize being with God beside still waters. In that time, ask Him what He wants you to know about how He wants to refresh your soul.
  2. Set aside 30 minutes this week to prayerfully list specific stressors in your life. Ask God to make clear which He has entrusted to you and which he does not want you to carry.
  3. Devote 10 minutes to silent stillness at the beginning of each day.
  4. Design your own practice. (Make it practical, prayerful, and helpful for quitting stress.)


Closing Prayer