The Gentle Hand of Pressure

I sat around a circle of mostly strangers as we sang praise music outside. There were people from all walks of life and nationalities. We had gathered in my friend’s backyard for a night of praise.

 

As I sat there, I couldn’t help but think where I was last year. I would have just been arriving in Jordan.  I also thought of where I could have been this year as well. I could have been unpacking my things in California.

 

Last year, I had a job which allowed me to travel –A LOT! Had you told me then, that I would be sitting outside in Florida with new friends, and a lot of people I don’t know well. And that I turned down a job opportunity in California. I would have  thought you were crazy.

 

The season I am in has been one of transition, but I don’t know what’s next. I keep praying for direction. I have been open to opportunities that have presented themselves. But, it feels like it’s just been a lot of waiting.

 

Waiting for what’s next. Waiting on God to bring a spouse. Waiting for the road I am supposed to travel on next – waiting.

 

As I sat there tonight, heavyhearted, a picture came to mind. Before I get there, I need to tell you some of the thoughts I have had prior to tonight.

 

The past month or so, God keeps reminding me that my life journey is not about nailing a successful job. Or, becoming a wife or mother, or becoming “something”. It’s about becoming more like Christ. So, when I start to get frustrated about the waiting, and am anxious about the unanswered questions. He reminds me I am on a journey to become more like Him. Becoming more like Him is dying a little bit each day. Dying to my desires. Dying to my plan. Dying to what I think I should be.

 

The verse that came to mind tonight was Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”

 

The picture that came to mind was not of me hitting a wall, but hitting my Father’s hand. That pressure, I believe, is His hand molding my life.

 

It reminded me of when a Father stops his child from doing something. Just today, I put out my hand to stop a kid from running. Sometimes, that pressure is to keep us still. It is not a punishment,but an act of love — An act that has our best in mind.

 

As I sat there singing tonight, it felt like a sprinkle of water, keeping my clay soft, so God could continue to mold me. Without water, my clay would harden. Without worship in my spiritual life, I would harden up. Without the pressure of my Father’s hand, I would be a simple lump of clay – useless.

 

But in the waiting, and in the pressure, God is forming me to the image of His Son. Tonight, I am able to thank God for the allowing me to wait. I was able to thank Him for the unanswered questions, the singleness, and for the job opportunity I felt I was to pass on. Because it’s not about the waiting, spinning, pressure, and the multiple change of plans. It’s about seeing His hand molding me. His plan is greater than I can even comprehend. This is his work of art, not mine, and I know He will make more use of it than I ever could.

 

So whatever you’re facing, know that it is bigger than you. The pressure, the sorrow, the unanswered questions, the sickness, whatever it is, God is molding our lives through it. I cannot wait until we see Him face to face. I am sure, we will be able to see behind the scenes of all the times we didn’t understand. It will be a beautiful thing. But until then, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness” Psalm 37:3

 

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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