My friend, may I ask you a question today? When life presses down on you, do you react emotionally? Some people simply develop very thick skins, ignore criticism, and do an end run around failure making it a point not to plan anything, expecting bad things will happen to wreck their plans anyway. Is that how God wants you to handle pressures?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. .
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Pressure. Few if any of us enjoy living with it. The crush can cause both physical and emotional distress. It mounts and mounts until you can almost feel the top of your head coming off. In fact, as your blood pressure increases your body temperature moves up. Eventually it vents right through the top of your head. Did you ever wonder where the phrase “Blowing your top” comes from? Here is how it usually happens. Tension breaks into your day; it was going along pretty well, then something goes wrong. The next thing you know stress walks right in the door. Perhaps it was a criticism that cut you down. It may have been failure that covered you in shame. Maybe it was something as simple as the realization that what you planned just wasn’t going to happen. Whatever the case, tension and stress happen quickly, and often linger a long time. We all know the feeling. When tension captures our nervous system the body immediately begins to compensate by speeding up heart rate. The faster rate pumps more blood increasing internal pressures on every organ in the body. The body compensates by increasing and isolating blood flow to the brain. More pressure.
What’s a person to do? Some people simply develop very thick skins. They ignore criticism, do an end run around fail- ure, and make it a point not to plan anything, expecting bad things will happen to wreck their plans anyway. Is that how God wants us to handle the inevitable pressures of life?
Jay Kesler, former Wheaton College president, makes this point. “Take a bathysphere, the miniature submarine used to explore the ocean in places so deep that the water pressure would crush a conventional submarine like an aluminum can. Bathyspheres compensate with plate steel several inches thick, which keeps the water out but also makes them heavy and hard to maneuver. Inside they’re not alone. When their lights are turned on and you look through the tiny, thick plate-glass windows, what do you see? Fish! These fish cope with extreme pressure in an entirely different way. They don’t build thick skins; they remain supple and free. They compensate for the outside pressure through equal and opposite pressure inside themselves. Christians, likewise, don't have to be hard and thick-skinned–as long as they appropriate God’s power within to equal the pressure without. (Jay Kesler.)
Jesus says, “Come to me.” When life is poised to crush you, you have two choices. You can try to bear up under the pressure, develop a thick skin, hope for the best and take your chances, or you can step away from the danger, and into a force that’s always greater than any pressure that can be brought to bear on you, Jesus Christ. You know something, the weaker and more feeble you are when you come, the more comfort that’s waiting. Call upon Jesus today asking him to become that pressure equalizer in your life. Keep doing that and over time you will become more and more accustomed to dealing with pressure on your own. Learning to abide constantly in Christ is the key. Once you do this, there is no pressure in life that can make you blow your top. The cool thing about it is, that with practice, Christ makes this an automatic and you won’t even have to choose to seek him. He was always there anyway. He’s been seeking you. Makes choosing kind of simple after all–right?
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for making your abiding presence in us a pressure reducer and stress container. Forgive us, Lord, when we try to cope with the pressures of life on our own without first listening for your clear call to come and follow you. Give us ears to hear and a heart open to that calling. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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