Give Your Stress To God
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'” 2 Chronicles 20:15
John Redman tells the story of a farmer who came to town and asked the chef of a new French restaurant if he could use about a million frog legs. “Oui!” he responded enthusiastically, but he quickly asked, “Where in the world would you find so many frogs?” “I have a pond at home that is filled with them,” replied the farmer, adding, “they drive me crazy night and day.”
After they agreed on a price, with anticipation, the French chef awaited the first delivery of this new delicacy which would soon appear on the menu. A few weeks later, the farmer made his first delivery: four frog legs. With a red face he stammered, “I guess I was wrong. There were just two frogs in that pond, but they sure made a lot of noise.”
That’s often the way it is with stress in our lives. Like a grain of sand in your eye, or a torn cuticle on your finger, a small amount of friction can produce a great deal of discomfort and irritation.
Medical research indicates that your mental attitude has a lot to do with how you handle stress—the bullfrogs in your pond which are causing you to toss and turn without sleep at night and upping your blood pressure by day.
Knowing that God is in control helps quiet the bullfrogs, but there is always that battle that rages, “How can I turn these over to the Lord?” We’re afraid of losing control. Yes, we want God’s help but we also want veto power just in case we don’t like flying in the clouds, not quite seeing where we are going.
Here’s the important question: How do you turn things over to God?
The answer begins with your relationship with God. A lot of people want to use God like a parachute on a plane that is going to go down. Once they safely reach the ground, they want to disengage and go their own way. But the relationship which brings security for you as a believer in Jesus Christ is one in which you surrender your life to the sovereign will of God, knowing without question that you have become God’s child. The Bible calls it “being born again.”
It means you acknowledge your inability to save yourself or to help yourself. This gulf between you and God is what the Bible calls “sin.” It’s the rebellion of your heart that makes you want to live as though there were no God. It’s when you confess your sin and ask God to forgive the rebellion of your life that you run up the white flag of surrender.
Doing this, you embrace God’s Son as your Savior and Lord. He promised, “…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). This means that you aren’t alone in your workplace, your marriage, your neighborhood. That knowledge in itself takes a lot of stress out of your life.
Finally, it means you acknowledge Christ as the leader of your life, asking Him to guide, to direct, and to empower you. It’s then that you come under His banner and security.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ won’t eliminate all the stress from your life. Like the frogs in the farmer’s pond, there will always be bullfrogs croaking when you want to sleep; but knowing that God is in control quiets their voices. And, you can turn off the lights and go to sleep.
Resource reading: 2 Chronicles 20:1-29