Friday, September 30, 2011

Life Under Pressure

1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  -Romans 5:1, 2 (KJV) 

When I was a boy it seemed I spent most of my time either in school or in church.  I had to become an adult to realize the benefits of both.  Yet when you are ten or eleven years old the years stretch out before you like the millennium and hours lay ahead like years.  The couple of hours I was in church every Sunday sometimes felt like days.  During a long sermon a friend of mine, Ricky, would often entertain me in quiet and subtle ways.  He was often the amateur artist and would sneak play dough into the worship time by means of concealment in his pocket.  This was then used to make angels, cars, warriors, and the occasional representation of the devil himself.  Indeed, Ricky was frequently inspired. 

One Sunday morning I recall Ricky produced a roll of Lifesaver candy from his pocket.  I know for a fact his mother frisked him before Sunday school every week, yet even she could not guess all his hiding places.  I watched, fascinated, as Ricky unrolled the entire pack of Lifesavers.  I was wondering when he would offer one to me when he did the most incredible thing; he placed the entire pack between his thumb and index finger and squeezed.  We found out too late how fragile Lifesavers actually are.  The result was a sort of explosion with Lifesavers shooting into the air and then showering the worshippers around us as far as several feet away.  Our parents were not amused.  Ricky and I did not sit together for several weeks after that event. 
As I reflect on how fragility of Lifesavers and how they cracked under pressure I realize people can suffer a similar fate.  We too can so feel the strain of life that we feel we will explode.  Sadly people sometimes do crack under the pressure.  Here we see the need for calm, stability, peace, and joy in the midst of life’s struggles.  Dr. Charles Stanley once said we are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or getting ready to go through one.  If life is calm right now and your situation is where you want it to be, then be on your guard and be ready, for a storm may come at any moment. 

The best way to be prepared for the storms and not to crack under the pressure is to have our lives centered on Christ.  The Lord brings joy, calm, and wonderful peace during the difficulties of life.  Perhaps you are going through the stress of a terrible life storm even as you read this.  Stop right now and seek the peace God offers.  He is there, willing, ready, and able to help by offering comfort and strength. 

Do not suffer alone, do not quit, and do not surrender.  There is hope in Christ.

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