The “Press” in Pressure
What I am going through right now feels like crap. It feels like there is a grip around my throat that won’t release. I am gasping for air and with every near escape the grip comes back tighter.
I am not comparing your struggles to mine – but I would wager you know what that feeling is like. The feeling of being powerless to help a family member or loved one. The frustration of a poor choice. A financial misstep that sets you back weeks, months, perhaps years. Being unable to prevent your adult child from making yet another bad decision. A health crisis. A temptation. Weakness in you spirit and body. This list could go on for days and I would not be able to name all the trials we each face. I know the name of my enemy and I know the name of my Savior. Do you?
I am here to tell you that we face pressure as Christians. Most of it generates from not letting go and depending on God. So what do we do when everything in our being is screaming to do something in our own power. We are to give the situation to God. We are to pray about everything and worry about nothing. This is the press in my pressure.
The Press in My Pressure
Some would consider me a type A personality. I need a plan. I need to know contingencies. I need details for trips. I like itineraries, agendas and pretty much anything you can put in my hand that clearly annotates what I can expect. I like organization, even in my chaos. I tend to lean into being a perfectionist. I want things done right. NEWS FLASH! Neither you or I are perfect. We show excellence in areas, but we are not perfect. Because of this need to plan, this need to know what to expect…sometimes faith – real faith is a struggle.
Faith is ultimately an act of trust. When you plan for everything and follow a set itinerary are you really showing trust? When I have an agenda for a meeting I expect it to be followed. In business this makes sense – you don’t want to waste time with people going off topic. When it comes to faith, you are going to go off script. This is where I, as a planner, need to press in. Closer in, higher up as I once chanted to myself. It’s time to bring that turn of phrase back into my daily self talk. Closer in, higher up.
It is so easy to let the world drown out the truth God speaks to each of us. I have spent the last few weeks battling, fighting anxiety and depression over dozens of things going on in my life. My first instinct is not to give it to the Lord. I am ashamed to at it but that is usually option 2 or 3. Then I try to take it back like a puppy in a game of tug-o-war. Why is it easier to own pain than to claim joy?
Who Turned Up The Pressure
The definition of pressure falls broadly under either continual physical force or an attempt to persuade or coerce. It is actually pretty fitting for what the enemy tries to do to each of us. He tried to crank up the pressure of our circumstances to persuade us to abandon faith and accept our circumstances. Why would the enemy turn up the pressure? He feels threatened. He can sense the breakthrough and he knows his time is short.
I don’t need to pressure the enemy. I do not need to persuade him of anything…he already knows. As a deceiver he is trying to make us believe his lies. Well, enough is enough. I know the truth. I know where my strength lies and I am so over it. I am more than a conqueror. I am a child of the King. I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED.
Prayer and Praise
This little prayer is my new focus, starting right now. “God help me to focus on truth instead of trial. Help me to give thanks instead of giving into fear. Help me to choose joy instead of anger. Help me to trust in your power instead of my plan. Help me to elevate Your name instead of my own.” (Whitney Daugherty). This is where the battle changes. This is my closer in and my higher up.
I am incredibly thankful that I believe in God and in his word. How bleak would this existence be without the hope we have in Christ.