Eat When the Pressure's On
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I think I've been on a diet since I was about three days old, and I've become somewhat of an expert at what works and what doesn't work at losing weight...or putting it on.
Frankly, I find it very difficult to lose weight, especially during times when I'm under pressure. Oh, maybe you're one of those people who are terminally thin, and so of course you don't even understand what I'm talking about! But maybe you're the one who does understand about losing weight and gaining it; your thorn in the flesh is your metabolism. Well, when things are calm and normal - status quo - it's a lot easier to maintain your diet disciplines. Then the crunch comes - extra stress - and out comes the crunch of cookies, and chips, and candy, and an attack of the munchies to help you get through the pressure. Pressure gives you this strangely expanded desire to eat. Now, usually, that's a bad response...usually. In some cases, it's actually a good idea.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 1, and I'm going to begin reading in verse 8, where we hear about Paul under pressure. I mean a lot of pressure. Listen to his words. He said, "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so we despaired even of life." Boy, if you've been under pressure, maybe you know that feeling of "beyond my ability to take any more." Then he goes on to say, "This happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God."
Well, in a sense, Paul's response to pressure in his life was to eat. Not physically, but spiritually; to download resources he needed to make it through. He ate spiritual protein, not spiritual snacks. See, when you're pushed beyond your ability to take it - to handle it - it's more than you can do, more than you can solve, more than you can provide for. OK, you understand? Well, then it's time to load up on two resources.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, he talks about "the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles with the comfort we have received from God, we are able to comfort those who are in any trouble."
Notice He's the God of all comfort in all situations. It's like a comprehensive insurance policy. You will always have comfort as big as the pain or the hurt. You'll never fully learn the comfort of God though until you're fully uncomfortable. That's interesting! So, if you're uncomfortable right now at this time in your life, load up on a heaping helping of the comfort of God; enough to serve others.
The other resource you eat very aggressively at this time is God's power. That's why he says, "This all happened to us so we could taste God's power and not rely on ourselves." "The God." he says, "who raises the dead." Now, you'll never fully learn the power of God until you're at a point where you're fully powerless. Then comes that sweet surrender to God's working; you've run out of options. And all of a sudden there's a lot of Him and almost none of you. So, you get a big helping of the power of God; working where you're powerless to do anything. And what kind of God? A God who raises the dead! This is a death-reversing, resurrecting, life-giving God in the moments when there's so little you have to give.
So, is the pressure on you right now? Spend quality time in your Lord's presence, even though it may be harder than ever to do it, you've never needed it more. Feed on His resources. Download them. Partake of it. That's why He's brought you to this point. Get the resources you would never experience if the pressure didn't drive you to it.
When the pressure's on, eat heartily from God's shelves. You won't get fat, you'll get strong.