We’re in a mini-series on stress relief this week, following God’s Word in Psalm 4. Quick recap so far: Stress—it’s not all bad. Search—God has answers, here’s how to find them. And today: Sacrifice.
When you’re stressed, God wants something from you.
He’s pushing you like a coach pushes an athlete or a life coach pushes a client. You don’t always like it.
Or he’s not rescuing you from a stress mess you’ve made for yourself. Like a wise parent or boss. He observes, monitors, and believes you’ll come out of it improved. A better person.
So what does God want from you? “Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord” (Psalm 4:5). Sacrifice. Give something up, as worship to God. Offer him your heart, your life, your very self. Live for him courageously not just comfortably. Pursue what he’s calling you to do, your purpose.
And understand this. None of it moves you up the totem pole to be better off in God’s view. You’re already on top! As a child of God who trusts in his love though Jesus, you are already “righteous.” So whatever you give to God, whatever you sacrifice, you do it as his precious, holy, loved child.
When a toddler colors a picture and gives it to mom or dad, it’s a mess. Lots of colors that don’t pair with each other well. Scribbles everywhere outside the lines. And the child offers it to mom or dad, smiling proudly. “It’s for you!”
What is mom or dad’s response? A heart that appreciates this token of love, this gift. The child is trusting in mom or dad, convinced that they will be impressed.
Give your stress and everything it is doing in your life to God. As he responds to your prayers, submit to him and offer him yourself, your ideas, your plans, your answers. When you do, it might be messy. Scribbles everywhere. Instructions from God way outside the lines of your comfort zone. New behaviors.
You don’t have to be at the top of your game to impress God here. You’re already on top. You’re already his righteous child. Trust in him. He’s a faithful and forgiving Father. His heart smiles when you color, even outside the lines.
God isn’t stressed about your stress, no matter how messy it is. As long as you bring it to him.
PRAYER: Dear Good Father, you love me unconditionally, and promise that I’m righteous and holy in your eyes. I am your child! I love you, God, and offer myself to you, as I bring my stress to you. You can have it. And you can have me. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Romans 12:1,2. In what ways is God’s prescription for stress different than this world’s ideas about stress relief?