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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Eliminate Stress By Giving up Control

In review of Matthew 11:29-30 it says, “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”

Bottom Line:
Take up his yoke and learn from him. He is gentle and humble. In him you will find rest.

What this means to me:
I should learn to take Jesus yoke, put it on, and then learn from him. He is gentle and humble in spirit and I will find rest in him. The assistance Jesus gives when I yoke together with him makes it easier and lightens up my load.

The overload I experience in life is likely because I’m trying to contol way too much. I think, it all depends on me. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me. I’ve got to hold it all together. I’ve got to make it all work.”

What I’m reminded of is that, while I’m an operations manager at work, I’m not the operations or general manager of the universe. The more control I try to exercise over the universe, the more stressed out I’ll get.

Today’s passage reminds me that Jesus has a different plan for me, he says to: “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 11:29-30 NIV).

It sounds a bit contrary to take something else on, especially if I’m already carry too much.  

Part of what Jesus is referring to, relates to farming, something everyone at that time could understand. A “yoke” is a single piece of wood that brings two farm animals together, so the load is shared. A yoke is not a harness. You put a harness on one cow or one horse, and it has to pull the whole load. With a yoke, you team up two or more animals so the load is halved. It is lightened. The purpose is to make it easier on the animal, not harder.

What I’m learning is that when Jesus says to take his yoke, he’s saying, He never meant for me to carry all my problems on my own. He is telling me to let him help. To team up with and partner with him. He will help me carry the load.”

So, if I’m feeling stressed, it means I’m not fully yoked to Jesus Christ. Stress is a warning sign/indicator that tells me I’m trying to control things and carry too much on my own.

Every time I get disconnected from Jesus, the stress is going to go up in life. But if I get reattached and yoked up, he’s going to help me pull the load.  As a result the stress will go down.

Often when we feel stressed, we think we need a break or escape. This may help temporarily, however the stress is there when I get back.  Often I can end up taking my stress with me because it’s in my mind. So I can be just as stressed lying on a white sandy beach as I am right in the middle of problems at home.

I believe God is saying the answer to stress is to give up control. Every time I give up control, God grants me peace. Today, I will consider how I can share my burden (get yoked up) with him.

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