Monday, May 1, 2017

Pressure Cooked

"Life feels like a pressure cooker....won't the timer just run out already!?", I say to myself.

I love to cook in my electric pressure cooker. Easy. No mess. One pot. Quick. Of course, there's always the added benefit of tender, tasty vittles when the timer goes off too. Yummy! Couldn't have happened without the pressure.

Yet, when life offers those particular, life-sucking, intensely-pressurized moments, when we feel like we ourselves are the ones in the pressure cooker of life instead of a chunk of meat and various veggies, that's an entirely different story. Even the quick three minutes it takes to perfectly cook a pot of rice seems like an eternity when we're feeling all the pressures of life. And...the struggle is real for us all at one time or another.

Life is always changing and can change at the drop of a hat. In a moments time, people may turn on you, the dog might go missing and a home can burn to the ground. All in a moments time. Jobs might terminate. Sickness can pop up out of nowhere. Devastation can run rampant. Nothing in this life is sure...with the exception that there will be those moments when you think you'll never make it another step. Pressure!

This song came to mind as I was typing out this post so I thought it my cue to share. (I Give You Jesus. I think its written by Janet Paschal)

If the ship of your life
Is tossing on the sea of strife;
You need someone.
And if you feel so all alone,
And your house is not a home;
You need someone.
If it seems life isn't fair,
And there's no one left to share;
All those lonely days and nights,
And things just won't turn out right;
And you need someone to care,
And someone to just be there;
You need someone.

I give you Jesus,
He's the peace that passes all understanding;
I give you Jesus,
He's the perfect love that casteth out all fear;
I give you Jesus,
He's the water that you drink and never thirst again;
I give you Jesus, my friend,
I give you Jesus,

If the pressures all around,
Keep your spirits to the ground;
You need someone.
And If your body is in pain,
And your health you can't regain;
You need someone.
And If at times when you have tried,
With all the strength you had inside;
And it seems that you have failed,
Remember on the cross He nailed
All the bitterness and grief,
To give you peace and sweet relief
He is that someone that you need.

 My friend, we have only ONE HOPE on a day when the pressure seems to be more than we can bear. 


Because...ultimately, there is Someone we can rely upon to release the valve on the pressure cooker of our lives. In the same manner and just as quickly as pressures can present themselves, they can again dissipate. It only takes a single word from the Master and all the pressure is released. 

He doesn't always step in as quickly as we'd like; however, that doesn't mean that He isn't able to do so. You know, there are certain things we MUST go through. Yes, because He loves us! It is for this exact reason that He allows us to sit in those uncomfortable, squeezing, pressure-packed moments from time to time. Not for our undoing though, but simply because some things can only happen DURING those moments. 

At just the precise moment in time, His timer will go off and He'll release the pressure...and we'll come out of the situation different than how we entered it. The Bible is full of examples of such. Now, while I'm quite sure the Bible never says anything about an actual pressure cooker, look at Daniel in the lion's den, Joseph in his journey to "second-in-command", look at Queen Esther in her quest to save her people. Pressure can be found in all these places and many, many more. 

I suppose its more about what takes place DURING those "pressure cooker" times than the actual pressure itself. It's easier for us to focus on what we're feeling though, rather than what is taking place.

"I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place."
Psalms 118:5

During the pressure, when I cry out in distress...the Lord will answer me. When He answers, when He finally releases the pressure valve, He sets me in a new place. He gives me space and freedom I didn't have while in the pot (pit). Just think about the tenderness and goodness of a chunk of meat that has simmered in the pressure for an extended time. It's delicious! It's tender. It's changed! 

If we'll allow God to work on and within us during the pressure, not only will our pressure-packed circumstances change but they'll be productive times in which we, ourselves, will come out changed for the better. We just don't always see it for what it is! The gift of a pressure-cooked situation. God has the unique ability to do stuff like that, doesn't He?

I hope this touches someone's life and offers hope during what might seem like the most intensely, pressurized moment in their life. God dropped this in my heart and it has given me hope today. May it be so with you as well. Remember, we're never alone...God is in control and will make it all beautiful when He releases that valve. 

Blessings on you ~