Get Rid of Your Stress By Giving Up Control
“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).
The reason you’re on overload is you are trying to control too much. You think it all depends on you. “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.”
Friend, you are not the general manager of the universe. The greater your need to control, the more stressed you’re going to be in life.
Jesus has a different plan for you: “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).
You say, “Wait a minute. Take something else on? That sounds like a burden. I don’t need to take any more on. I’m already carrying way too much!”
If you didn’t grow up on a farm, you may have never seen a yoke. 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.
When Jesus says to take his yoke upon you, he’s saying, “I never meant for you to carry all your problems by yourself. Let me help you! Team up with me, partner with me, and I will help you carry the load.
If you feel stressed right now, it means you are not yoked to Jesus Christ. Stress is a warning that tells you you’re trying to control things and carry too much on your own.
You may be a follower of Jesus Christ, but if you’re overloaded at this moment, you are not connected to Christ. You are not yoked up to him.
Every time you get disconnected from Jesus, the stress is going to go up in your life. But every time you get reattached and yoked up and he’s helping you pull the load, the stress goes down.
We think that the antidote to stress is escape. The problem is that you take your stress with you because it’s in your mind. You can be just as stressed lying on a white sandy beach as you are right in the middle of your problems at home.
God says the answer is to give up control. Every time you give up control, God gives you peace.
Talk It Over
- What areas of your life have you been trying to control that have caused stress for you?
- What does it look like practically to give up control to Christ?
- How can you reconnect with Jesus this week so that you can share your burden with him?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.