Are you feeling under pressure these days? As this crisis goes on the pressure mounts because we are disconnected from the familiar. Some are unable to work because their work is deemed “nonessential” while others are stretched to the breaking point because they have no relief. We think of those who are working in the medical field but this pandemic has made working in a grocery store hazardous. This is true for others as well.
Uncertainty raises our stress level. We are living in uncertain times. When will everyone return to work? When will the schools reopen? When will we be able to take a trip, visit family, go out without a mask, shake a hand, give a hug? When will we be able to gather together to worship as we choose?
We are blessed with the technology that allows us to visit over the computer, purchase items for delivery, even have contact with our doctor. These things are all helpful. However, over an extended period of time they are not a substitute for personal contact. We need human touch. We need to see the smiles that a mask hides. So we find ourselves under pressure.
The devotional reading from Streams In The Desert for yesterday was very timely. Reminding me that it takes pressure for us to grow as Christians.
Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intently it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.
Grapes can’t become wine unless they are squeezed. Dough is kneaded and baked to become bread. As followers of Christ we are called to be “broken bread and poured out wine.” We will face pressure but Jesus gives us His word in John 16: 33.
These things I have spoken unto you,
that in Me you might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.