Who are you under pressure?
“ In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8 NI
“Character is who you are under pressure, not when everything’s fine.” Unknown
We know Christ’s character. Pressure shows us ours. Pressure shows us Christ’s.
It really is easy to be kind, generous, understanding, grateful and pleasant when all is good with my life. That’s not the true Black Sheep Babz picture. Not by a long shot! My problems and character are nothing compared to the description of Jesus’ character. Broke? I become stingier forgetting God supplies all my needs. Lonely? He’s always with me but I demand the feelings of his presence. Criticized? Here comes bitterness focused on the criticizer. Pressure at work? Blame, blame, worry and control. Watching the news in fear and resentment forgetting who’s really in charge is a constant battle.
When grieving the loss of my husband, there was no relief, hope extinguished, isolation and destructive behaviors multiplied. There was no comfort in knowing Christ grieved. The concept of Christ being the resurrection and the life was not grasped. This was the greatest pressure of my life. The pain seemed an eternity. Quick fixes were abundant with no fix for the empty void. What was your Waterloo? Achilles heel? In hindsight, can you see where Christ bore the pressure?
Who am I under pressure? I’m Peter looking at the waves in the middle of the storm and crying, “help me!” Sometimes I’m Doubting Thomas praying, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Sometimes I’m the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well skirting hard-to-face truths about myself. Sometimes I’m Pilate asking, “what is truth?” Sometimes I’ve grieved deeply with no hope like Martha and Mary when Lazarus died. Sometimes I’ve sold out for money. Sometimes I’ve cast my pearls before swine. Sometimes I’ve sowed seed in harsh and rocky ground. All under pressure. Thank God for grace.
Thank you that we “vessels of clay” have the honor and privilege to “cast all our cares” on you. Jesus demonstrated his love so many times in scripture from washing dirty feet to the most shameful and painful death. All under unfathomable pressure. All within very short hours. He did this so we can walk in newness of life and to encourage his life in others.