Last night at life group we were discussing ‘Jesus on Stress’ from Phil Moore’s book ‘Gagging Jesus.’
It was interesting to have a frank discussion about the things that we get stressed about and how we deal with stress. For many of us prayer was last on the list.
That is often the case isn’t it? Prayer is our last resort – when we become desperate, when we get to our wit’s end and there is nothing else we can do to sort out what is worrying us and causing us stress.
What’s interesting in the book is that it explains that Jesus teaching on stress:
It tells us that stress is the chief symptom of our idolatry and self-worship
Read that sentence again. Quite hard hitting isn’t it? Few of us would care to admit that we partook in idolatry or self worship. The truth is, many of us are.
“I’m worried” is just another way of saying “I’m not convinced that God will do his job without me… I’m feeling stressed” is just another way of saying “I’m trying to do God’s job for him and it’s not working out for me.”
How often do you use those phrases in your everyday life?
How often do you attempt to do God’s work for Him?
In our human nature we like to be in control and the truth is we can’t be. We need to fully rely on God.
Our stress and worry draws our focus away from God and puts it onto ourself. We do all that we can to solve our own problems. We forget about prayer, talking to God. We lack faith that God will come though for us.
There were a number of contemplative silences as we discussed this last night. As the realisation sank in.
It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, in the issues that arise, in the striving and problem solving and desire to force things to work themselves out.
It is so easy to become self reliant, to feel that we are masters of our own universe and that we can do as good as or even a better job than God. We will sort it out faster, we know what needs to happen and we will fix it all.
The thing is, we are not called to go it alone. We are not created to be our own personal saviour.
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
So, today at the end of the week how about taking Jesus up on his offer?
Go to him, find rest for your soul. Free yourself from the weight of worry and stress.