Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pressured To Lean by Martin Wiles

Series: Perfected By Pressure
I didn’t have one on my first hiking adventure, but I bought one soon thereafter.

A hiking stick is a hiker’s best friend. Age has nothing to do with it nor do physical limitations. My hikes were in the mountains. Trails were steep and inundated with rocks and roots, making footing precarious. My hiking stick relieved knee pressure when going uphill, slowed me down when descending and kept me from falling when I twisted my ankle on roots and rocks. When it once slid down a mountain, I didn’t hesitate to slide down after it.

Some believe God is a crutch to lean on when we can’t handle life’s pressures, but Paul had something else in mind when he wrote, And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven (II Thessalonians 1:7 NLT).

God’s not my crutch but I readily admit I can’t handle life’s pressures alone. People of the Renaissance may have been able to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps,” but I can’t. I can do all things through (with) Christ (Phil. 4:13), but I make a mess on my own.

Pressure-whether sent or allowed by God, accomplishes what he ultimately designs: that I lean on him for rest, guidance, strength, and wisdom to take the next step and to know how to respond. It also reminds me this world is not my home. One day I’ll live in an eternal heaven where God will relieve the pressures I face now, but until then I must lean. When pressures come, learn to stretch upward and lean forward.

Prayer: Merciful Savior, thank You that no burden we bear is more than Your shoulders can handle if we’ll roll it onto You in faith.

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