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Magnified


What happens when you magnify something? The object increases in size, more importance is given to it, or it intensifies thus making it seem more exciting or in some cases more detrimental.

The enemy oftentimes magnify our life, with an emphasis on the toughest times or our worst decisions to keep us stuck in a place of defeat and despair. Due to the current new norm for some of us we’ve turned the magnifying glass on ourselves. The threat on lives, social distancing and stay at home order associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused a plethora of emotions that have become magnified.  In the midst of all these necessary changes there are emotions we need to be able to process, but may not be sure if we should or how we should process them.

So how should you handle those days when you’re feeling disappointed? And right behind that is a feeling of worry that expressing your disappointment can make you look petty, especially during this season where COVID-19 has people with so many uncertainties.

Please understand processing your disappointment is not only OK, but it’s emotionally and spiritually necessary. Because you are not making light of someone else’s pain when you process YOUR pain to gain a clearer perspective.

The great news is God is here to help us process those emotions.  God magnifies our life as well with an emphasis on the toughest times and worst decisions. The difference is, God magnifies them to let us know we are not alone. He magnifies them to remind us we don’t have to let those things continue to weigh us down. He magnifies them so we can develop a closer relationship with Him. He magnifies them so we at some point are able to use them as a testimony to help someone else. He magnifies them so we don’t have to process them alone. Whatever you’re going through it’s worth taking it to The Lord and asking for help.

So, what do we do as we stare at the realities of school closures, graduations postponed or canceled, businesses facing financial loss, not being able to see loved ones and things we thought we would be doing in this season looking very different? How do we take the magnifying glass off the negative of our realities that can cause disappointments?

1. Remember what you do have, so you don’t get consumed by what has or could be taken:
Many plans have to be canceled or postponed and that’s very hard. But remember fun hasn’t been cancel, love hasn’t been canceled, being kind to others hasn’t been canceled and learning and growing hasn’t been canceled. Use this time to reframe what matters most and find creative ways to celebrate those times and people.
 
2. Remember who God is:
 God is a protector: He is protecting you from what you can and cannot see.
God is a provider: He is providing for you, even though His provision looks different than what you expect doesn’t mean it’s not good.
God is present: Even when others are absent. God does incredible things in the unseen.
God is faithful: No matter what is being taken from you right now or currently happening, place it in the hands of God because He is still in control.

While we’re all trying to remain calm and hopeful as we navigate unexpected fears, hardships and disappointment let’s be intentional in not allowing social distancing to prevent us from extending love and grace to one another. #checkonanothersister
 
PEARLStoPONDER: It can be easy to let today’s disappointments make you expect the absolute worst for tomorrow. Our job is to obey God, God’s job is everything else. Let’s be committed to feeding our faith and fueling our healthy perspectives.

Colossians 3:15-17(ESV)-- 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

John 16:33(ESV)-- I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:4-7(ESV)--Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 

When You Don’t Understand What God is Doing

Has there ever been a time in your life when you received some unsettling news or God gave you instructions that seemed so out there? After receiving the news, you shouted, “God what are you doing?!!!!” This experience is often very uncomfortable. Believing God not only demands faith but often puts into question the faith you say you have.

This journey is often a road filled with more potholes than anticipated. Where you don’t doubt God’s presence but question His plan. Where your enthusiasm wans and your confidence trembles. During this time, you find yourself begging, “Lord, can you just show me what you’re doing?” You wait for a response. But there is no flash of lightning illuminating God’s plan or thunderous voice with a mystifying explanation. Yet in His time you will receive a quiet thought impressed upon your exhausted heart asking, “Do you want a God you can explain or a God you can extol {glorify}?”

When that thought was quietly impressed on my exhausted heart it made me recognize a truth. A God of infinite majesty can’t be measured. A God who releases miracles can’t be contained and a God who is eternal, steadfast, unchanging, with a love that is unconditional can’t be explained.

As I sat in my office, I realized I had a choice. Will I let the mystery of God bolster my doubt or guide my wonder? This brings to mind some women who I’m quite sure had plenty of questions yet didn’t allow their doubt to overshadow who they knew God to be:

The Hebrew midwives outsmarted the Egyptian Pharaoh and saved the lives of the Jewish newborn boys (Exodus 1:17-21).
Jochebed circumvents Pharaoh’s order to kill all the baby boys by hiding her newborn son Moses in the bushes. (Exodus 2).
Rahab, a prostitute hides two Israelite spies and saves their lives as well as her family (Joshua 2:1-16; 6:17-25).

I began to praise God, because what I do know about Him is far more important than what I don’t know:
I know God loves me and will never leave me (John 3:16; Hebrews 13:5).
I know God is for me and not against me (Romans 8:31).
I know God’s Word is true (Psalm 33:4).

Just these few “I knows” gave me a lift! Not just a physical lift but Iifted my hands in praise! Although the question of “God what are you doing?” may not fully dissipate. The unease that use to accompany that question is no longer swaddled in disappointment and despair but clothed in a comfort of hope.

As I look out the window, I see the magnificence of the sun peering through the clouds. I don’t know how He does it…. but I know this, it wondrous, just like He is!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: God will never fit into a finite box of our understanding. But He will always fulfill our infinite need for a Savior. Ask God to give you strength to praise Him even when you don’t understand what He is doing.

Ecclesiastes 11:5--As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

Isaiah 55:8-11--For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven  and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,  giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
 

Hiding Place

Do you remember playing hide and seek? My children and their friends played hide and seek not only in the house but around the entire block. I remember them hiding under beds, in closets, cabinets, trees, and under furniture in an effort to be the last to be found.

With all that is going on in our lives and in this world, if you are like me sometimes you want to find a place to run and hide, not due to fear {well, sometimes due to fear} but to quiet my mind from all of the noise. A place where there are no notifications and reminders sounding an alert on my phone or a calendar filled with things to do. A place where the mental hamster wheel inside my head isn’t spinning with information and things that need or should be done. Thinking back on all the places my children use to hide. I’m reminded I cannot not fit into those spaces…lol. Yet there is a hiding place for me that is better than any place my children use to hide, where I can get away from it all and just be still.

With the uncertainties currently in the land the words of David in Psalms 32 came to mind. David likely wrote these verses during the time he was on the run from Saul who was hunting him in order to kill him. He was hiding in caves, but he knew the true source of his safety was His God. Due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) people are deciding if they should or feel as they are forced to hide in their homes. As David referred to the Lord as his hiding place. We too should refer to and rely on The Lord as our hiding place, where we can get away from it all and just be still.

Just like God helped David when he was forced to run and hide, He longs to help us when we feel like we want to run and hide. The Lord is our hiding place! He knows our sins, frustrations, fears and fatigue from racing through life. He calls us to come to Him. When we hide away with and seek Him, it gives us a chance to slow down and sit in His presence where we can confess not only our sins and faults but our frustration, fears and any concerns. When we hide away and seek Him, He reminds us of His protection and guidance so we are able to sing songs of victory in spite of what transpires around us.

Do you feel like running and hiding today? I say run and hide! Enjoy hide and seek like children. But instead of running to a tangible hiding place run and seek to hide in the loving arms of Father God.

PEARLStoPONDER: When was the last time you played hide and seek?
 
Psalm 16:1-2-- Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 27:5-- For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Psalm 32:7-8--- You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. SelahI will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Isaiah 41:10-- fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

John 16:33-- I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
 
 

Can You Really Hear Jesus Speak to You?

 
“Charlie Brown!” I waited in the doorway for a moment expecting to see my beagle running to the door wagging his tail in anticipation of getting a “treat.”

As I waited, no Charlie Brown. So, I stepped back into the house discerning that he would come running to the porch and aggressively hit the door informing me he wants to come inside.

Silence. “Charlie Brown??!!!” Still nothing. I go look out the window that overlooks the backyard. I can’t get a visual. Maybe he’s on the side of the air conditioner unit. I step into the backyard. “Charlie Brown!!!!!”

Ugggg! “He went on a field trip!” So, my search began. After a short walk I spotted his green and blue coat, his nose blissfully buried in some bushes. Gently I call, “Charlie Brown.” This time he finally responds to my call.

Beagles are known for their “selective hearing.” Bred as scent hounds they never “intend” to ignore their masters. But the minute they get catch a smell their ears seem to lose all reception.

As I was calling my beagle it came to mind how he knows and responds to my voice. This brought to remembrance the verse “my sheep know my voice” (John 10:27). Jesus announces that He is the good Shepherd. He loves His sheep, cares for them and leads them. He calls His sheep {me/us} to trust His plan and to follow Him. I looked at my beagles trusting eyes and thought about the blind trust he has in knowing we will take care of him and he is willing to follow us wherever we go.

How well do we know the Shepherds voice? And how willing are we to blindly follow His plan? Do we have selective hearing when it comes to the voice of the Shepherd?

Although Charlie Brown knows my voice there are times when he chooses not to respond. Unless he discovers there is a “treat” involved. The Shepherd calls our name. How often do we not respond or use selective hearing to decide whether to respond based on if the Shepherd has a “treat” for us?

Just like beagles are prone to be taken off by the scents of their nose. We too are taken off by the many other voices that compete for our attention. Our own ideas and insecurities, cultural values, social media and well-meaning family and friends.

What I learned through experience, the best way to tune out these other voices and not be taken off track, is to understand the Shepherds voice rarely shouts. Instead it’s a gentle whisper. It’s not always an audible voice, yet it is a clear message accompanied by peace even if the instruction in the message is not easy. Make time to intentionally tune into and learn the voice of Jesus by quietly sitting and listening.

The Shepherd loves us and wants the best for us. When we ignore His voice or disregard His call, we miss out on opportunities to better know, love and serve Him. When we tune into those other voices, we become distracted and are taken off the path of following Him. Thus, doubt of knowing His voice creeps in leaving us with doubting self. Because the Shepherd loves us sooo much, when doubt creeps in you’ll hear that gentle voice calling your name……….”Cynthia”{inset your name}. Giving us reassured confidence to take another step in trusting His plan.

PEARLStoPONDER: Is selective hearing and the desire for “treats” keeping you from hearing Jesus speak to you?

John 10:27--- My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Psalm 79:13--But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Psalm 100:3--Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 

Gratitude

This blog is a reflection of the 364 days and the 50 blogs I’ve written thus far. When I began to blog, I was experiencing so many different seasons in life. Some great, some good, some bad and others were ahhhhhh what am I suppose to do moments. During those moments “I” felt as if I did not have another woman that I could genuinely confide in who was in that season at the same time or had successfully weathered that season. During those times 364 days ago, I would find myself complaining that God had not given me a mentor to talk to on a regular basis. {God has a sense of humor…I had no idea the assignment He had lined up for me}. All I heard was “rely on me.”

As I began my process of blogging, I often did not know the origination of the content. I just relied on God. Each time I sat down to blog I would hear The Holy Spirit saying I need you to be transparent. Being bluntly transparent was challenging at first. But after a short wile I began to see why God had not put a mentor I could readily access in my life. He wanted me to be able to use my great, good, bad and ahhhhh moments to mentor others and take the focus off of self {me}.

I must admit I am forever grateful that I get to be open and transparent with women I know and don’t know. The time I use to put in focusing on the “why” of a moment or season has now become times of joy in those moments. The excitement of experiencing different seasonal moments and challenges just so I can share my experience is sooooo gratifying and very humbling {I know that sounds weird to be excited about challenges} because I get to give to you what I use to long for.

During these 364 days of blogging I have been so excited to sow into you. But you know what? I realized I have been receiving something I wasn’t expecting, an outpouring of kindness!  Often, I have been caught off guard when a woman comes up to me hands me a yellow or pink gift bag, smiles then says, just because or I was thinking about you; random gifts on my desk, unexpected text or emails as God’s confirmation that I’m handling my assignment well. Your blog comments that give me encouragement on those moments of ahhhhhh. The hugs, or genuine eye to eye contact are a few acts of kindness that brings me to tears.

My heart and spirit are overwhelmed with gratitude!!! Thank you for being a part of my God given assignment, and supporting me for 364 days. I pray my transparency and words will keep you tuned in.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Take the focus off self. We can{should} all encourage, empower and equip another woman to help her withstand any circumstance she encounters. Our experiences and challenges are not our own.

Psalms 9:1-2-- I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Colossians 3:17-- And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 

The Grace of Aging

Has there ever been a time when you walked past a mirror and did a double take? Has there ever been a time when you got on the scale and just shook your head? Has there ever been a time when you had the perfect outfit picked out in your head, put it on and it does not fit!?

Yes, I have looked in the mirror notice my face has wrinkles, my hair is thinning and weight that clings like saran wrap and judge these as undesirable. But then I ask myself who and what am I comparing myself to? And why am I comparing?

All of us at some point will have the “has there ever been a time when” moment. Those moments use to freak me out to the point I was stressed out! But one day in that moment I was convicted. No matter how much I was stressing out about aging, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Because aging is part of God’s perfect design. So, I threw out my preconceived notions about the negative aspects of aging as well as no longer wrecking my brain with trying to research “age defying” products and adopted a new perspective. Once I changed my perspective the stress left.

As my relationship with my own body deepened, I learned to enjoy the different experiences that come along with aging, stopped reminiscence about being younger, and truly enjoy my current age. I feel much calmer and confident within myself now. I worry less about what the fashion is {while still being cute..lol} and more about feeling comfortable and happy with what I am doing and who I am in God’s image. I also loooove seeing how other women find their way of expressing themselves during this season.

Although I have learned to enjoy aging and appreciate the grace extended. I must be honest. A normal aging body seems to have become the aberration, and the perfected, sculpted and forever youthful appearance has become the norm — or at least the sought-after norm. Please don’t mistake my honesty for saying women should let themselves go. What I’m saying is society oftentimes portrays flawless images of women who reveal their “tricks for staying young” thus sometimes causing us subliminally to not like what we see. Every woman age differently! What works for one may not work for you!!! So be careful not to allow what you think is another woman’s flawlessness to overshadow and down play your flawlessness. Because we are all flawed yet flawless in God the Creators eyes.
 
Learning to fully understand and embrace that attitude is everything in aging gracefully affords us the chance to be who God created us to be in that season of life. Aging gives us a chance to fulfill long awaited goals and dreams, focus on what is in front of us and not what is in the rear-view mirror. We don’t have to become marginalized or reduced to sitting down. It’s a perfect time to become role models showing younger women what it’s like to age gracefully without the pressure of having to be flawless.

 Embrace the wisdom as an older woman. Let’s celebrate older women and encourage younger women, for what they have weathered in life. I want to see older women, free to show up as themselves with wrinkles, fat or not, graying hair or not, and everything else that comes.

The more focused you become on enriching the lives of others, the more sense of purpose you’ll have. The more you begin to explore new interests, the more engaged with life you’ll become. The more you begin to tackle long-postponed projects, the more empowered you’ll feel. All these things put into practice will result in a heightened enthusiasm for life. The more energized and optimistic you feel, the more you’ll be moved to express your gratitude to God. Thank Him for this wonderful life you’ve been given. An attitude of gratitude, more than anything else, will help determine whether you grow old gracefully — or just grow old.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Be thankful for God’s grace in aging. Embrace your flaws as if they are flawless!

Job 12:12--Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

Proverbs 16:31--Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

2 Corinthians 4:16--So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Titus 2:3-5-- Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
 

Crave

When you crave, you’re Continually Reaching After Various Enticements until the eager desire is met.

Have you ever searched and searched to satisfy a crave? No matter what you try to substitute the crave with, the other option just doesn’t hit the spot. Have you ever thought about the intentionality we put into going out of our way to seek to satisfy that crave? We don’t even put a lot of thought into the distance traveled or money spent to acquire what we need to satisfy the crave.

As you’re reading this blog there is probably something that’s enticing you to satisfy a crave right now. Don’t be embarrassed, we all get them. Sometimes to a fault of indulging in craves that are not good for us…but I’ll move on. When this crave happens our minds run through several scenarios as to how to obtain that crave. However, there are also times when we try to ignore the crave.  So, what happens when you ignore a crave? More than not the crave doesn’t go away, it lingers as if there’s a small voice whispering in your ear that continually entices you to reach after it until it’s conquered. The funny and truth is we are not settled nor satisfied until we feed that crave.

We all get cravings of different kinds. But when spiritual craves hit, do we entertain it with the same magnitude as we do natural craves? When the crave hits to study or pray does a light bulb go off in your head that leads to a desire to ignite a continual effort to feed that enticement or is the desire ignored? Do you stop what you’re doing with an eager desire to intentionally reach after and feed the crave with no thought as to how far you’re willing to go {not just in distance, but intime} or the how much it will cost {cost doesn’t always mean monetary}? Are you willing to elude time when you are indulging in the joy of feeding your spiritual crave?

These questions aren’t being asked to make you feel bad about having a crave or the distance traveled to obtain the crave, because I have them as well and have driven a distance to satisfy my crave. The questions are asked to intrigue your thoughts about natural and spiritual craves and the effort you put into each of them.  Thus, I never want to put a great amount of exertion into satisfying a natural crave and not the same amount if not more time into satisfying my spiritual crave.

What crave entices you the most?
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Do you long for and have an eager desire that craves to feed your Spirit?

Psalms 42:1-2--As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

Psalms 63:1--O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalms 119:81--My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.

Isaiah 26:9--My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word.

2 Peter 2:2--Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.
 

Keys

 
Life comes with challenges, some unapologetically difficult to navigate. There are seasons in our life where we feel as if we’re barely hanging on. This season can encompass discouragement, failure, fear, unfulfilled dreams and many disappointments that cause faith to waiver and doubt in trusting God’s promises. The harder the season and the longer it lingers makes it difficult to stand causing hope to be lost.

When these seasons occur, our mind can become confused. We believe we will make it, yet the circumstance of the season says I don’t see how.

So, how does one manage to navigate through the difficulties of any season? Is it possible to be rooted and grounded in the turmoil of a stormy season? In order to adapt to weather in any season keys are needed.

Keys grant access to understanding something that is beyond our reach by leading us to the source of knowledge. The following five keys are essential for any season:

The First Key: “blessed is the one who TRUSTS IN the Lord.”
Learn and be willing to trust that the Lord is who He says He is and that He will do what He promised He would do.

The Second Key: “whose confidence IS the Lord”
Your confidence must rest in knowing that God is bigger than anything you will ever face thus He has our best interest at heart.

The Third Key: “be like a tree PLANTED by the water.”
Tress are firmly planted thus equipping them to withstand the worst of storms. We too, must be firmly planted and rooted in God’s word so that it might empower us to stand when the storms come.

The Fourth Key: “does not FEAR”
Knowing who we are in Christ, and accepting that truth will help eliminate any fear that arises in our lives. Once you embrace the fact that you are a chosen daughter of the King, fear must leave.

The Fifth Key: “does not WORRY.”
This key hinges on all of the other keys. When your trust and confidence are in the Lord, you are planted in His word and intentionally living a fearless life, there is no need to WORRY and therefore you can stand firmly.

Remember, you are God’s girl and He has given you everything needed for life and godliness. His promises to you are from everlasting to everlasting, written throughout His word. From Genesis to Revelations He has given you the keys to be victorious and face any season. Thus, you are equipped and empowered to stand {withstand} any storm!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Is it time to remake your keys?

Jeremiah 17:7-8--Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Proverbs 14:26--In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.
 

The Rising of the Sun

As I open my eyes every morning and see the early morning sunrise peeping through the blinds in my bedroom, I think about the magnificent God I serve. Sometimes I’ll go to my kitchen window and gaze out at the sun realizing my naked eyes can’t take the power of the sunrise Yet, I can’t seem to look away.

The power of the brightness of the sun brings to mind the power our God has and the power that we have at our disposal. If only I would consistently tap into that power.

The sun rises each day. But I often take for granted the rising is orchestrated by God. Being honest I sometimes also take His power for granted in my daily realities of life. There are times when I spend more time trying to figure and work things out in my own power and not fully relying on the ultimate power source of God. Thus, my actions don’t match what I say I believe.

Have you ever taken a moment to truly realize God’s magnificence in the rising of the sun? One day I did just that! Oh, what a joy that engulfed me. In that moment I gained a deeper understanding of His power and glory in my daily life. Oftentimes we only acknowledge when God’s magnificence manifest after a storm in our life. Yet we tend to forget to recognize and acknowledge His magnificent power and glory are present every day of our lives.

Regardless of what the day looks like, the sun ALWAYS rises! It’s brilliance and magnificence are ever present, even on the drabbest and overcast days. Just like God’s brilliance and magnificence shines even when you can’t see it.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: The sunrise is a constant reminder that the naked eye cannot handle its power and is a reminder to be intentional in grabbing hold of God’s daily glory and power.
 
Lamentations 3:22-23--22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Psalm 46:1--God is our refuge and strength, a very present[b] help in trouble.
 

Positively Pressed

Positively Pressed
 
I’m pressed!!! Usually when we hear these words it brings to mind someone being forced or stretching themselves beyond their limit to get something done, or trying to beat the clock. When in this state stress can be the companion of press.

What does your press look like? Is it comprised of the overwhelming stressful thoughts of OMG I need to hurry, not one more thing on my schedule!!??

Life is happening right before our eyes. We have things to do, places to go, families to tend to and careers to build. With all those things to do we often neglect or barely squeeze in time to nurture our spiritual life. If you’re like me the initial thought of press comes with a sigh and a statement something like this…..let me go ahead and do_____________.

There are times in my life when I am pressed. When pressed, I become very stressful and my body reacts in a negative way. I was complaining one day {to myself}. After some time, I became convicted because the Bible tells me not to complain but in everything give thanks. Yet I was grappling with things {I felt} that were pressing. I asked God to show me how to turn my view of press from negative to positive. Immediately the woman with the issue of blood came to mind. I began to think about how she forced and stretched herself beyond her limits, her tenacity in trying to beat the clock in that she was determined to touch the hem of Jesus garment before He left the Galilee region to speak to another crowd. As an outcast and socially isolated, not to mention she interrupted Jesus on His way to heal the mortally ill daughter of Jairus. I’m sure she endured some stress her in her press. But because Jesus was the focal point, she didn’t allow stress to engulf her nor did she complain.

The woman with the issue of blood equipped me {in so many ways}to change my perception of press. Although situations and circumstance causing the press may be negative my attitude toward it doesn’t have to cause stress especially once I learned to have faith to come to Jesus for direction and resolution.

 The woman with the issue of blood felt crushed, was under pressure, pressed and oftentimes felt as if she was in a dark place. But did she recognize being crushed, under pressure, pressed and in a dark place put her in a powerful place? A powerful place for transformation, healing and redemption to happen.

Our press may not be as serious or long as the woman with the issue of blood. However, the press can sometimes be the pressure we need to realize God is squeezing us beyond our limits that reduce us to the point where we have no other choice but to call and reach out to Him.

PEARLStoPONDER: Some of the finer things in life are pressed to produce the most beautiful outcome. How are you viewing your press?

Luke 8:43-48-- 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
 
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