The whole idea of “turning it over to God” and the familiar AA theme of “let go, let God” have been on my mind lately. Like today and yesterday, especially, while we’ve been in the middle of selling our house, preparing for another appraisal, packing our things, trying to find a new place to live, trying to straighten out our less-than-meager funds, trying to figure out how to help our three kids who are currently in three very different and very difficult circumstances, trying to write a blog before the deadline, etc., etc. I could go on and on, just as most people could.
I frequently find myself stressed out. Then I justify the stress by saying it will subside just as soon as Situation X is over (enter whatever current difficult circumstances you wish). I figure life will settle down and I won’t be so stressed out anymore. But, of course, just as soon as Situation X calms down or goes away, Situations Y, Z and A come along. So, I continue to experience a level of stress that no doubt affects me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
As the stress intensifies, my faith diminishes. After all, much of the stress consists of fear and doubt. And, as Joseph Smith taught in Lectures on Faith, they are the opposite of faith. For, wherever fear and doubt are, faith cannot be.
But can I really trust God to take care of my finances, fix my kids, find a place for us to live, and solve all of my other problems? Of course not. That isn’t the point. It’s about the oft-quoted scripture: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30.)
I create stress unto my soul while the Lord offers rest unto it. Which do I prefer? And why can’t I trust the Lord more and myself less? Why do I continue to take on more than I should and turn over very little or nothing to God?
First and foremost, I need to take a different action by turning my to-do and to-worry-about lists over to the Lord. He doesn’t say he lifts our burdens for us. He tells us that we must first take action by putting His yoke upon us. Then we are to trust that He will make the burden light. That means that every time I start stressing out about something, I need to consciously set aside the stress in order to put the yoke of the Lord upon me, having faith that I can and will find rest.
That’s what the Lord wants me to do. That’s the best way to handle everything I get stressed about. The Lord doesn’t want me to waste energy by being stressed out. He doesn’t want me to displace my faith with fear and doubt. He wants me to move forward with faith in every single step I take and every endeavor I encounter.
I must say that just while writing this blog, I’m finding that I feel more relaxed.
Gee, what a surprise. My focus has changed from stressing out about all the things that need to be done to simply doing one of those things and not worrying about all the rest. Trusting that the Lord will do all the worrying for me.
And yes, I realize that the Lord knows better than to worry. I just need to pretend He’s worrying because I’m convinced that if nobody is stressed about all the things I need to do, then they’ll never get done.
But look. I got a blog entry written while no one was worrying about it. Imagine that.