I was walking today with 3 lb. weights in each hand. Swinging my arms with each step, feeling good about the exercise. As I held those weights, I realized there was a ripple effect taking place. Not only were my arms holding on tight, but my shoulders were benefitting from the swinging, which led to my back feeling stretched, which led to making sure my posture was good and my core was held tight. Chin up, shoulders back. All from those small weights I took on my walk. That little bit of pressure that began in my hands and wrists made an impact on the rest of my body, and ultimately, my mental attitude.
Did you know that sometimes, when plants are stressed, they produce flowers as a survival instinct? Even though individually, they may not survive long-term, they can quickly reproduce as a way to ensure the next generation.
Pressure. It’s uncomfortable and usually unwelcome.
Maybe you’re entering a new week under pressure. Maybe you brought it on yourself like me, or maybe it’s tension coming from an outside source like those flowers. Maybe you welcome it, maybe you are pushing it away with everything you have.
Is your instinct fight, or flight?
If leveraged correctly, the strain will benefit us, and quite possibly, the next generation. I’ve seen it in marriages that pushed through difficulties. I’ve seen it in business owners who stayed the course during hard economic times. I’ve seen it in teenagers who struggled with social pressures and stayed true to who God says they are rather than what label culture pinned them with. I’ve seen it in families raising difficult teens who kept doing the next right thing, even though they were exhausted.
Paul tells us in Romans 5 that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Stress…strain…tension…may we push through them all this week. May we see the benefits that accompany the squeeze we feel, and keep a grateful attitude, even in the discomfort and pain.
And with a little bit of grit, and a whole lot of grace, may we cling to the hope promised in God’s word when we push through.
I’m so glad when things got tough for Jesus, He stayed the course.
Ending the day thankful 🙂