Stress… I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear or read that word (or one related to it)… I get stressed over the possibility that I’m stressing over something. I begin to scan through every minute detail of my life and try to pinpoint a source of stress so that I can get rid of it.
The trouble is, though, that if I don’t find one, I think, “Oh, no! It must be much deeper than I thought. It must be covered over by everything else.” Or, if I do find a source of stress, I’m already too unstable to deal with it.
It is then that I realise I’ve bitten off more than I can chew – I can’t fix my own problems. So, I decide to let it go.
“How do I know that I’m actually letting go? Am I really giving this over to God, or am I faking it?”
I get even more confused… and stressed.
Welcome to the vicious stress cycle that I sometimes fall into! However, by God’s grace, I can say that I don’t spend as much time caught in the cycle as I used to.
Here are some Scriptures and thoughts which have helped me.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26, 27
We can’t search our own hearts by ourselves – we have to invite the Holy Spirit to do it and co-operate with Him. We can’t set ourselves up as a higher, more qualified judge than the Lord.
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:13
God knows every single detail of our lives and He wants to delight in them, so He can be trusted to deal with the things we care about and stress over.
Once, when I was overwhelmed by worry, I started to say something like, “Lord, I lift up these worries to You in prayer,” and I still felt a heaviness. God helped me to see that I had been approaching the situation from the wrong angle.
He said: “These cares may be on your shoulders, but you are in the palm of My hand. You do not have to bear these cares, nor do you have to ‘lift them up’ to Me. They are too heavy for you. Simply let them drop. Let them fall from your shoulders onto My hand.”
I pray that you will rest in the knowledge that you – and the things which matter to you – are already safe inside the Lord’s hands.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30