As a follower of Jesus Christ and one who believes in the faithfulness of God, it was easy for me to say that I trust Him. I have witnessed God’s mercy and grace. I looked to Him for guidance, protection and provision, and I believed that I trusted Him in life. However, when faced with unforeseen circumstances my trust was tested. It was truly tested when I left a comfortable corporate job to pursue my God-ordained assignment. It was during this faith walk – while being in a place of uncertainty, wondering how ends would meet, that I realized I was not truly trusting God in EVERY area of my life. How did I know this? I knew this because instead of resting in God I allowed the responsibility of making critical life decisions, the pursuit of higher education, and my lack of resources overwhelm me and soon enough, I was stressed out. In fact, I was so stressed that it began to take a toll on my body. I began to gain weight and struggled to maintain a healthy blood pressure. It was during this time that I truly grasped the meaning of the adage, “stress is the silent killer.”
In a 2012 report issued by the American Psychological Association (APA) titled “The Impact of Stress”, the question was asked, “Is ‘stressed out’ the new normal?” In the report, they referenced a survey called, Stress in America. This survey reported that many Americans consistently experience extreme levels of stress. Measuring with a 10-point scale, 10 being the highest level of stress, it was reported that many of Americans’ stress levels were 8, 9 or 10. In addition, in their most recent survey published in early 2017, the APA highlighted how technology and social media are now major triggers of stress. As I read these reports I thought about the fact that there are many triggers that cause us to experience stress, and the reality is that stress has the ability to cause emotional and even physical harm to our bodies. Think about it. Have you ever noticed a stressed out individual rubbing their head, or suddenly they have a migraine headache? Have you ever noticed that some people develop stomach aches when they become extremely worried? Stress takes a toll on a person’s body, which may result in illnesses such as, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and rash outbreaks. Stress, if not managed and/or if not subdued, may result in dis-ease.
"When we truly trust God, we are essentially freeing ourselves from the stresses of life."
The word disease is composed of two words, “dis” and “ease.” According to Webster’s dictionary, the root word ease means, “the state of being comfortable; freedom from pain or discomfort; freedom from care; and freedom from labor or difficulty.” On the other hand, the prefix of the word, dis, literally means “the opposite of.” So essentially the word disease means the opposite of being comfortable, or the opposite of being free from care, pain, labor and difficulty. When we are experiencing discomfort, pain, difficulty, or are burdened with the cares of life, it causes us to be susceptible to diseases.
In the times we’re living in, with increased evil in the world – mass murders, economic downturns, increase in unjust arrests and incarceration, as well as the frightening political state of affairs of this nation under unstable leadership – there is no wonder why more and more people are experiencing stress. The average cares of life – lack of income, loss of loved ones, troubling relationships, striving for success – are enough to weigh us down and have us “stressed out.” While I cannot promise you that a life free from stress will be easy, what I can suggest is that you can endure this life victoriously, overcome stress and its effects on your body by believing God’s word. Proverbs 3:5-8 reminds us to:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.
The Word of God promises us that if we trust in God with all our heart, and seek His wisdom for how to handle the cares and challenges of life, and not try to figure it all out on our own, God will lead and guide us. Trusting God is fearing God, which is humbling ourselves before Him and turning away from evil — anything that displeases God, grieves the Holy Spirit and is in direct contrast to God’s will and Word. When we trust God, health and nourishment will be our portion. When we trust God in spite of what it looks like, we believe that He’s going to do what He promised and meet our every need. When we truly trust God, we are essentially freeing ourselves from the stresses of life. There is healing in trusting God because our bodies are at ease. My trust in God was tested when life was no longer comfortable and predictable, but after my experience with stress I made the decision to truly trust God for every area of my life. I am now reclaiming my health. I encourage you today to trust in the Lord for everything. It is my hope that as you trust in the Lord you will live a life of peace, health, and free from dis-ease.