A month ago a dear reader told me that the blog is the first thing he looks at every day. That it’s the only thing right now that gets him through.
And all I could think was, “Okay, wow. That’s a lot of pressure.”
Until he informed me he flies planes. In Afghanistan. For the U.S.
And then all I could say was, “Okay. Wow. THAT’S a lot of pressure!”
The pressure he faces, getting supplies in and out for the people restarting their lives, laying his life on the line, honouring the call… totally eclipses my puny desire to encourage the odd reader along with a few words and my personal world view.
And yet, because he reads, and because I write, we’re connected.
And if he’s reading today, I salute you sir, and would tell you not to cave today under your myriad of pressures, but to stand in the midst of them and know you’re part of something amazing, something only you are equipped for, and on the days where it doesn’t feel like it, you have Someone bigger than any war-torn country, at your side.Pressure. The pressure to perform, the pressure to pretend you’re fine, the pressure to bow to public opinion.
The pressure to look like you’re all together. The pressure to pass judgement on those who don’t. To reach for the top, to hustle others out of the way, and to be the person everyone looks at and says, “Wow. She’s invincible. Be more like her!”
Sometimes pressure is placed on us in the form of responsibility, like my new friend overseas, but more often than not the pressures of life keep running at us, settling over us, and we just allow it. And I get it! When you live with chronic depression for 29 years, you learn to try to avoid life to avoid the pressure life brings. Vicious cycle. And it robs you.
Can I tell you today, that any pressure to live as part of the status quo that stresses you out, brings you down and keeps you there, or reinforces the belief that you’ll never rise above or amount to anything, needs to be eradicated. Before you crumble under the weight of it.
You’re ready to crumble right now, some of you. The pressure from work, from family, from peers, from society, from various religions, it’s becoming too heavy, too much to keep living up to, or living for.
You know by now how I’m going to tell you how to relieve the pressure, right? That you have a God who is waiting for you to not just lean on Him to get you through your difficult moments, but who is waiting for you to lean INTO Him. PRESS yourself into His side, rest there, where His presence can envelope, cover, and protect.
He’s shelter enough. You cry out, you invite, and He rushes in, into every broken, scratched, seared, and bruised space. Press INTO Him where you can stand again, instead of bowing to the pressures that keep you down. He’s the Saviour who has a reputation for building up the good, and tearing down the bad. A reputation for victory.And that’s a lot of pressure. But He can handle it.
The Psalmist David understood pressure. He had royal connections, he had important family connections, people were always wanting to take his life, and he was about to step into a huge divine plan from a huge divine God. No wonder we hear this prayer, this desperate cry in the middle of all the pressure, and we could pretty much pray it ourselves, word for word, right now. It was a harried cry for the shelter of Almighty. David was running hard, ready to press in. To find his Refuge.
To find release.
Psalm 31:1-5A psalm of David.
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
Commit yourself to Him. Ask for the guidance He always has ready for you. Make your requests. Pour out your heart. It can be messy and needy and desperate. He inclines His ear, He moves in, He rescues.
The only real pressure on you now, is just to believe it. To trust it. To lean into it and into Him. To wait. To be.
The rest is Him. I’ll say it to myself, I’ll say it to who ever listens.
He’s answer enough. He’s shelter enough. There are good and perfect things waiting on the other side of this.
No more pressure.
Only pressing in.
And for each of you who do, and are reading this today, I say this;
“I salute you. And would tell you not to cave today under your myriad of pressures, but to stand in the midst of them but within the shelter of His wings, and know you’re part of something amazing, something only you are equipped for, and on the days where it doesn’t feel like it, you have Someone bigger than any war-torn country, or any situation you are faced with and carrying the weight of, at your side.”
There’s a lot of pressure. But it no longer has to own you. You know where to take it, and who to take it too.