It creeps in undetected. Our sensors don’t automatically pick up on its infiltration. It’s sly and subtle at first, projecting innocence-with the intentions of disaster.
What is this enemy?
I have heard that stress is the number one cause of all illnesses. From headaches and stomach ulcers, high blood pressure to insomnia. The list is extensive. The fact is the that stress effects us more than we care to admit. In fact, 67% of Americans say they live “stressful lives”. What’s the common denominator? It’s not circumstances or even culture. It’s not ethnicity or even social class. People from every walk of life struggle with the “S” word. So what is it then?
Stress is not a condition based on circumstances, it’s a condition of the heart.
People who are facing life altering crisis can live above the watermark of stress. We’ve all seen someone go through tragedies with courage and peace. Yet we know some (maybe even us) who live in the frantic of frustration over misplaced car keys.
Here’s what I’ve gathered as I’ve been “people watching” (including myself); that everyone thinks they have the right to be stressed. Everyone of us at some point has complained about how busy we are, how loaded we have become. The truth is found in that very confession: we have given circumstances authority over our hearts.
If our circumstances have the power to determine our level of joy, they have too much power.
How do we put this monster called stress to bed?
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
It’s ironic to me that this verse in one of the most popular of all the Psalms. Yet, possibly the most vastly under applied.
Why is that?
Stillness scares us. It causes us to listen, not to the clamor circling us, but to the chaos within. In the silence we hear the monster roar. The one that says we’re not enough. The one that threatens our purpose. The one that confirms our weakness and highlights our inadequacies. This monster called stress, tells us we must be our own savior-and everyone else’s as well. It puts the demands of the world on our shoulders, all the while accusing us of insufficiency.
That’s what the Word says. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Stop with the charade. Stop trying to write your own story.
Stress streams from self-sufficiency. All the ways we try and take on the cloak of deity. All the million different ways we try and be God; to control chaos.
That’s why He says “be still and know. Stop striving and recalibrate your heart to the realization that I am God and you are not.”
He says..”know I AM…”. Know that I AM the Light of the World and the Bread of Life. I will illuminate your darkness and cover you with My truth. I AM all you crave and all you need. Know that I AM your Way and Truth and Life. Know that nothing is hopeless with Me, For I AM the Resurrection. Know that I AM in you and you are in Me, because I AM the True Vine. I AM here guiding and protecting you; I AM the Good Shepherd, as well as the Sheep Gate.”
Know that all your instabilities as well as your insecurities are quieted in Him. Know that in your inconvenience and inconsistencies, He is constant and sure.
The cure for stress?
Know the great I AM. May your heart bow before Him in still surrender, releasing the reverb that the lack of authority sends through our souls.
That’s a cure of the heart.