Have you ever had seasons in your life where you feel very overwhelmed? Sometimes we go through times where it seems like everything is broken & sometimes we go through seasons that just have lots of demands. Last week, I had one of those weeks – it was the kids last week of school, I had a couple of sermons to prepare, some work deadlines and a few other spinning plates. I felt like I was drinking from a fire hydrant on full open
Thankfully, this week has a little more breathing room. Regardless of the demands & pressures on our lives, it always helps me to remember that God is in charge & that I don’t have to be an “expert” on water pressure, time management, resource allocation, solution provision, energy distribution, etc. While I may have a few talents & skills, God is an expert at everything – most of all, God is an expert at loving us & helping us in our daily living, with or without fire hydrants ,)
I often find myself in the predicament of needing more time & less work. Deadlines, responsibilities, demands, schedules, timelines and the like seem to eat into the 24 hours in each day with nibbles, bites and giant chomps. I used to think that God messed up with the 24 hour thing until I read in Genesis 1:31 about how God said that everything He made (including time) was very good. So here are some helpful thoughts about time being very good:
time is our daily reminder that while we are limited & finite, God is not & God knows the beginning from the end
time helps us to get things done – sometimes pressure is good
there are many people in the Bible who only grew into their destiny because time was an essential ingredient: Joseph, Moses, David, Jacob, Hannah & lots more 🙂
time is an integral part of what God established with the whole Sabbath rest principle
Out of the frying pan and into the fire: I was reading about how David was trying to stay away from King Saul in 1 Samuel because Saul was trying to kill David. It’s really interesting to me that God sent David a prophet in 1 Sam 22 & told David to leave the stronghold where he was staying & go back to Judah, where he was more vulnerable to Saul’s attempts to kill him – out of the frying pan and into the fire.
No one likes to be uncomfortable or in difficult situations. If you’re like me, we often look for the paths of least resistance & opposition, along with the areas of greatest safety and comfort. But clearly, this wasn’t how God was directing David in 1 Sam 22. It seems to me that we often trust God the least when we are the most comfortable ,)
I’m trying to be more proactive about taking care of my car so that Reece has fewer things to think about and so I’m learning lots of wonderful new things, which of course I enjoy for the simple pleasure of the love of learning 🙂
With that being said, I drive my car almost everyday & I don’t give much thought to the pressure in my tires until something goes wrong. Of course it’s best to maintain consistent and optimum pressure because my car is easier to steer and drives better when the tire pressure is in the right zone.
I think the same can be true for us with Jesus: pressure is part of life and when we keep our eyes on Jesus, He keeps the pressures of our life in balance so that we can live in optimum performance, but the key for me is focus. Keeping my eyes on the pressures in my life can be overwhelming, but keeping my eyes on Jesus helps me to stay in synch with Jesus so He can make pressure adjustments as He sees fit 🙂
Ok, before you get stressed out with me about the title of this blog, here’s something good that I’m observing that can come from stress. Probably like you, I have varying degrees of stress in my life – from the quickie stress that comes from being late bc of traffic to the massive stress that can come from job & family pressures (or various other things). What I’m noticing is that the greater the intensity of the stress the more I find myself pressing into God & ultimately, it is never a bad thing to press into God nor to depend on God, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel.
So what we do with stress can often be more important than the actual stress 🙂
It seems to me that the holiday season increases the pressures on my life, based on many add’l activities & responsibilities (Christmas programs, special meals, house projects, present wrapping, etc). Maybe your life has some similar dynamics & demands. Should you find yourself in seasons that have alot of pressure, here are some ideas that have helped me:
simplify & prioritize: things that aren’t as important need to drop much lower on the “must do” list
keep core / central relationships healthy: make the extra effort to communicate clearly, or the stress from these relationships can be very draining
remember that you are deeply loved by Jesus: you are always on His mind, in His thoughts & you always capture His eye
minimize the noise & clutter – if something isn’t necessary & soothing consider reducing or eliminating it
give yourself permission to get a coffee / tea & exhale or take a deep breath
take some moments each day to celebrate Jesus in your life – more ideas to follow on this point
Feel free to add some more thoughts on how to constructively deal with pressure 🙂
My husband thinks I’m intense. He’s probably right. It seems that whatever I give myself to, I can be extreme. For example, when I was learning to snowboard, I fell so hard one time that I got a concussion through my helmet, but I didn’t give up trying to learn. Now 4 yrs later, I snowboard & generally stay injury-free & THOROUGHLY enjoy it!
My point here is that it’s not all bad to be intense, especially when it comes to our walk w God. We are encouraged to live a balanced life & in some cases & situations, that’s totally appropriate. But when it comes to God, I’ve come to the conclusion that I intensely need Him. This intense need is the most obvious need in my life – everyone who knows me in any way, knows I need God. I’m a junkie – the honest truth. Because I need Him so desperately, I am quite intense about being w Him, knowing Him, loving Him & having Him be comfortable in my life (I want God to be comfortable around me). I want & need for my relationship w God to be nothing less than high octane, fully leaded & totally charged. May your walk w God be one of great intensity & immensity.
You probably don’t need me to list anything that may add to the pressure in your life, so here’s something good to think about: God has your future in His hands and you can trust Him. For me, this was really helpful to hear this morning in my time w Him. From time to time, when I feel lots of pressure, sometimes I find my mind wanting to escape from the pressure. In prayer this morning, I was kind of daydreaming when I felt God inviting me to settle into Him rather than go down the daydreaming path. This was an interesting experience because when I was daydreaming, I was really restless. When I followed God, the restlessness stopped & I felt a calm serenity with great depth. In my prayer time, I stayed w God & received an internal confidence that is even lingering w me now.
We all have pressures & stresses – from our own choices & from things beyond our control. I’d encourage you to be mindful of how you deal with such pressures & stresses. God designs our needs to be met in Him.