This week I have felt constrained, constricted, confined and confounded in trying to work within the demands of too many needs, circumstances, parameters and limitations. Not only are there too many of them, but they all seem to be at complete cross-purposes with the goals, dreams and godly desires of myself and my family. I think we all have felt that we are stuck between a rock and a hard place . . . or maybe many rocks and many hard places.
I don't think it much matters the particular rocks or hard places by which I am currently being pressed, and it would be too easy for a list of them to become a complaint. Aside from that, you don't need my list, because I'm sure you have a list of your own. Life on earth is fraught with pressures and circumstances that box us in. Despite the commonality of our experience, we never seem to get used to it. God made us with a desire for freedom and we instinctively fight to break free of whatever box in which we find ourselves.
Sometimes the hard places are of our own making, sometimes they are completely beyond our control, and sometimes God has led us there for reasons we cannot fathom. So often we feel like nothing is ever going to give and let us have the breathing room we so desperately seek.
Yesterday, I got a little bit of breathing room in the form of a drive with my family through some beautiful countryside, a delicious dinner at an old favorite spot, a glorious sunset and a campfire in the back yard with smores, sticky fingers, and lots of laughter.
Each of these was an "Up the Sunbeam" moment for me that gave me a series of tangible experiences of how beautiful, delicious, glorious and full of joy God is. Each of these moments was also a reminder that He is not just watching me suffer under pressure from outside where nothing touches Him, but He is in life's hard place with me, giving me breathing room from the inside out.
The pressures of this life will come and go--believe me, I am looking forward to them going, and soon!--but what is always consistent is God's wonderful Presence with me through everything. The spot I'm in doesn't feel so tight when I remember Him in the midst of my fight for breath . . . in fact, HE is the breath I need.
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair . . . "
2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV
2 Corinthians 4:8 NIV