JUST GIVE UP!
Today’s Bible Reading: Psalm 46:1–11
Stress. We face it every day. We eat stress with our breakfast, sit next to it on the bus and dream about it at night. Stress can consume us to the point that we feel like Robert Orben, who wrote, “Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep down I know that’s not true. Some of the smaller countries are neutral.”
As hard as we try, we simply can’t control the pressures that bombard us—unreasonable workloads, financial woes, relational struggles, unexpected layoffs, life-threatening diseases, a loved one’s death. Whether we create the crises ourselves or they attack us from the outside, our futile efforts at preventing disaster fall woefully short.
This psalmist certainly understood pressure. He described an agonizingly stressful version of existence, characterized by earthquakes, mudslides, tidal waves and erupting volcanoes. Perhaps he intended to create a more figurative but equally stressful image: one in which the foundations of society crumble and nations topple. Or maybe the songwriter was attempting to describe the consequences of inner turmoil and stress: Our bodies quake under pressure until, unable to bear the strain, we helplessly collapse.
What should we do when our stress load has our brains in a vise? Give up?
This is not the answer a typical guy wants to hear. We like to control the environment around us, secure in the belief that we can handle anything life throws at us. But is that kind of rugged individualism really proper for the Christian man? True, we can’t simply sit on the couch and trust that God will pay the electric bill or change the attitude of a rebellious teenager. The “giving up” comes not in the action we have to take but in the results we expect our actions to effect.
Different situations call us to act, to be sure. But when we relinquish control to God, we leave the results in his hands because we acknowledge that we never had control over them to begin with. When the pressures of life threaten to crush you and you’re called to action, begin by simply willing your mind to be still and recognizing that God is in control.
To Take Away
- Do you really think the answer to stress is allowing God to be in control? Why or why not?
- What pressures in your life remind you that you’re not in control? Why do you think it’s so tough for men to give up ultimate responsibility for the end results of a situation?
- What keeps you from fully submitting your life to god?
In Other Words
Let the peace that he gives
Let it meet you where you live
Let his grace become your resting place
And with the burden that you bear
Come into his presence
And there you will find
He’s all you need. —Billy Foote