Sunday, January 15, 2017

Added Pressure

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 15: Today, I will choose to be grateful for added pressure. 

Do I long for a comfortable life? You bet I do! I think it is human nature to dream of easy street. Birds singing, green grass, brilliant flowers outside my door that survive my pitiful gardening skills and my weight matching the number on my driver's license. I wish for all the time in the world to do the good things I would like to do. I think I would like it Easy Street. Right? 

Easy Street is a street in Morton... but I don't live there.

What makes us long for an easy life? Are we naturally lazy... or is it fear. I've been challenged by Bob Goff's book "Love Does" and find myself up against the reality that life was meant to be full of adventure. 

I let fear cripple me at times. I long to be faithful and fearless. I want to fly on eagles wings... but I am afraid of heights. Truthfully, it is idea of falling that makes me tremble. I fear the edge... the margins before the fall. 

The great commission was "Go and make disciples." Go and make are action verbs. We were not put here just to live in the world, but to change it with truth, justice, mercy, hope and love. Above all... we are to love.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." -Romans 12:12

The metamorphosis comes in submitting to a sovereign God with an honest "thy will be done". Discernment... the testing of the spirit... that part requires relationship. When the pressure is on... it can be uncomfortable at times. But, pressure is not all bad. In fact, it can be transforming. Hawk Nelson sings this wonderful song, "Diamonds". 

Here and now I’m in the fire, in above my head
Being held under the pressure, don’t know what will be left
But it’s here in the ashes
I’m finding treasure
He’s making diamonds
Making diamonds
He’s making diamonds out of dust
He is refining
And in his timing
He’s making diamonds out of us
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are favorites of mine! They didn't bend to pressure or fear. Their courage and trust in a sovereign God blows me away. They could not... they would not.. bow before a man-made idol. Look at Daniel 3:16:

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

"Our God is able... but even if he doesn't, we won't bow down." 

Their faith was stronger than their fear; their commitment was not without risks. They knew that the God of the universe held them in the palm of His mighty hand. When it came down to a choice... between burn or bow... they chose burn. It leaves me breathless. 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego inspire me to seek refuge in a God who is in control. One who rescues. One who save. One who knows the number of hairs on our head. For Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego... not one hair on their head was singed and their clothing did not even smell of smoke. Our God is bigger than any circumstance. 

"Outward pressure is always an opportunity to be inwardly transformed." -Lisa Bevere, Girls with Swords

Today, I will choose to be grateful for added pressure. 

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