I remember when I was in college, at one of my routine heart appointments, I remember my cardiologist saying that one of the best things I could for myself was live life with the least amount of stress as possible – for my heart’s sake.
And that idea, I have taken with me not only with regards to my physical health, but my emotional, mental, and spiritual life as well. When seen in the light of who God is, stress really has no place in our lives.
Yet that is MUCH easier said than done. But even though it’s easier said than done, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And that we have to fill our minds with the truth. So here’s the truth:
God proved at the beginning of time, that work is to have an end. An end time, where we can say, “It’s good.” To the point where we need to let things rest and take a day of rest. A Sabbath. Where work is ABSENT. A day where work doesn’t happen. Where it’s barely a thought. This day, is to be a day of rest, worship, and community with the body of Christ. A day where stress should decrease because the bigger picture is seen. A day where stress should decrease because we lay aside the things that weigh us down and our focus is put back on what it should be on – our faithfulness to the Gospel and purpose God has given each of us. You may be thinking though, “my work is my purpose.” Doesn’t matter! God, the designer of the universe, the one who reigns over all, the most BUSY guy in all of time, who is working in each of our lives, to work out his purposes, took a Sabbath. Did He need it? He did it for us. My people, we can do it too. Trust me.
God doesn’t stress. Just repeat that in your head a few times. Don’t worry, I’m joining you too. I have laid awake too many hours at night wondering how we are going to get through this or that and I start freaking out. Stress overwhelms. I think the devil knows he can get ahold of our minds at 3am and boy is he good at it! But don’t they say like 90% of what we worry about never comes true? Amen to that! So if we are supposed to reflect the character of God, one of those characteristics is that He doesn’t worry or stress. Boom. I’ve got some work to do to stop stressin’.
Now granted, He’s God and can do anything and everything. Only he can work without stress. We can’t. It’s our natural bent. But all the MORE, we need to just let it go and let grace in and leave our worries, cares, and stresses, to the One who reigns and rules this world!
But isn’t it okay to let some things bother us a little more than others? Well, God has this perfect balance. Now before you let that blood pressure rise too high because I used the word “balance,” I’m not talking about balance in the sense of finding this perfect balance between everything in life. I’m not saying giving a certain percentage here and a certain percentage there. What I’m saying is that we need to live life devoting everything little thing we do, for Him. If we can’t do it for Him, my friends, it’s not worth doing! So balance your go-get ’em and can-do attitude with doing it for the Lord.
When we allow our lives, our circumstances, and the details to be completed in HIS time, there is a level of stress that is relieved. God will complete what He wants to complete, when He wants to complete it. Not that we should live lackadaisical (I love the look of that word), but with anticipation for what God is doing in and through our daily tasks. And when we entrust and abide in Him, there isn’t room for stress because we are in Him. In Him, there is no place for stress. Or worry. And the Bible has plenty to say about worry! Just see Matthew 6, end of the chapter.
But let me tell you. I have been stressed. We’ve had a hectic schedule, unexpected costs have come up, heart issues have ramped up again, and it has just felt like a LOT all at once. I don’t always understand why God allows what He does, but what I do know is that God will always provide. Maybe not in the timing or in the way we expect, but I’ve find that when we abide in HIM, He provides abundantly MORE than we could ever ask or deserve. And we have experienced that time and time again. In big ways and small ways. Through those we know and those we don’t know.
My friend, God is good. And when we can keep that truth nestled within our hearts, we can let the stresses of life go by the wayside. I will stress tomorrow about something. I guarantee you. But when we allow ourselves to abide, to rest, and believe in His goodness and provision, it will take our faith to a whole new level.