Recently I’ve felt a bit like a balloon.
Then blown up again, only bigger this time.
This has been going on for the last four months.
Each time that balloon has been blown up,
It has been a bit bigger than the last time.
Just when a bit of recovery was felt, the inflation process would begin again.
Each time, I have felt stretched farther than possible.
After each new challenge, I found myself feeling a bit more like a stretched and wilted balloon left behind at a child’s birthday party.
It is very common in scripture, for God’s people to come upon circumstances, either random or brought on by themselves, which “stretched” them.
The things they thought they knew were called into question.
The way they did things proved to be requiring a change.
The circumstances they endured made them realize that God was indeed big enough take care of them even in the direst of circumstances.
They learned that when exhaustion knocked on their door, they learned that the joy of the Lord was their strength, that in their own power, collapse was inevitable.
Probably the most important thing they learned was that even if their state of affairs was grueling, taxing and grievous, they could still be joyful.
The details of the first quarter of my personal 2012 don’t even need to be shared.
To be sure, they involved all of the above.
There was challenge.
There was stretching.
I’ve been called to know what I believe and why I believe it. This will be a lifelong process I am quite sure.
My routines for doing things were totally flipped on edge, causing me to take note about why I do things a certain way.
Speaking the truth when it is not popular to do so can be delicate, but it can be done. People will not always be happy that you did, but God knows the truth about the love in your heart.
Perhaps even the five minutes you give God each day, can be enough to recharge your batteries.
When you make a commitment, regardless of how large, you do your best even if that means from a distance.
In the end, keeping your word is something that folks won’t even expect you to do if things change and make it even more difficult.
God knows. You still do it. You do it as unto Him. It is He who holds the scales.
Often, the reward is not in what you see with your eyes as a result of your difficulty, but a sense that you did what you were supposed to do. You did it well. You did your best.
The invisible reward is feeling God’s pleasure.
Philippians 4:12-14 (NIV1984)12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NASB)10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”