Stress Test

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

My grandfather died of a stroke. My dad died of a heart attack. Based on the knowledge we have from modern medicine, my brother and I have a very high likelihood of getting heart disease, as we share their DNA. As a result, we are told by doctors to eat well (lots of fruits and vegetables) and exercise on a regular basis in order to keep our hearts as healthy as possible. So, that’s what I do. I try to eat healthy (Our local greasy spoon doesn’t make it easy, though), and I try to run nearly every day. I want my heart to be healthy. I want to live long enough to see my kids grow up. I want to experience grandchildren someday. Therefore, I work at it.

One of the tests the doctors do to help evaluate the healthiness of my heart is called a stress test. Basically, they wire me up to monitor my heart on a computer, then put me on a treadmill for 10 minutes, gradually increasing the speed as we go. As I run, they watch to see how my heart responds. The last one they had me perform I wasn’t even breathing hard by the time we were done. The doctor essentially said, “You’re good.”

But, there’s something that the doctors rarely talk about when managing our literal health, let alone our spiritual health – stress management. There is a direct link between being constantly stressed out and increased risk for heart attack. (See https://goo.gl/2Nh8Cw) In other words, the less we experience peace, the worse our health.

As Solomon puts it in our verse today, finding peace leads to health. Being stressed out, worrying about others, being jealous, will slowly kill us. Stress management in the Kingdom of God begins and ends with a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

So, how do we experience peace in this age of chaos? Surrender. We must daily surrender everything to God. Let Him lead. Let Him love. Let Him forgive. Let Him show us grace. Let Him comfort. Let Him teach us. Let Him deal with our enemies. Let Him live in us.

When we have total reliance on God in our lives, we experience peace because the King of the Universe says “I’ve got you.”

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