Stress could save your life! But it usually doesn't feel like it, does it?
Yet there was the headline right on the cover of a February 2009 issue of Newsweek magazine.
The subtitle goes on to state, “It’s better for you than you think.” And in the article itself, Janet DiPietro, a developmental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University is quoted as saying, “The public has gotten such a uniform message that stress is always harmful, and that's too bad, because most people do their best under mild to moderate stress."
Well, in that case, you and I may live very long lives. I’m guessing your life is stressful. And I'd be willing to admit that at certain times mine can definitely have its share of stress.
When I feel stressed, I like to think about King David. There was a guy who knew stress. Leading a nation. Commanding an army. Violent enemies on the outside and devious conspirators on the inside. And that was just in the physical realm of things. In the spiritual realm were the daily battles with Satan, with sin and with the idolatrous cultures all around. And most challenging of all were the battles David at times fought within himself - the ongoing war between his sinful flesh and his new man.
Could such stress save David's life? Could it save yours?
And here’s why. When David experienced stress, he had a habit. And it was a very good habit.
David’s habit was to go to the Lord with his stress and ask for help. David’s routine under stress was to ask God to fight for him, to provide a solid foundation for his feet to stand on, to strengthen him and give him courage for the day of battle.
All you have to do to see this is read the Psalms. Here's an example. At one point, David was facing some very malicious, God-defying enemies. And these are the words he prays:
“To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit…The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.” (Psalm 28:1, 7-8, NIV)
Do you wish stress could save your life? Then do what David did. Rest your stress on the Stress-buster. Take your troubles to God - your Rock, your strength, your shield, your fortress of salvation.
When your heart trusts in him, you are helped.
Isn’t that truly awesome?! Stress could actually save your life - for eternity!
Maybe stress really is better for me than I think!