So the reality of this storm we call "Quarantine" is truly starting to set in. It's been over a month since we've been able to go anywhere other than a grocery store, we are separated from family during times like Easter when families are usually united. We are uncertain of the future and what it will look like once this whole thing is over and it seems that anything that resembles a normal routine is completely gone from daily life. How then do we still maintain hope in what lies ahead? How do we continue to trust that God is still in control and is moving in our lives when things seem so mundane and chaotic?
This Week's Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-12
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."
It seems no truer statement has been said lately than, "we are hard pressed on every side." Life seems to be pressing on us from every area. Many of us are struggling financially, emotionally, physically and even spiritually. There are few areas of life untouched by the situation around us right now and yet I have seen it bring out the goodness in so many of us. We are hard pressed, but we are not crushed. We still have within us a spirit of good. This is the part of this passage that we must focus on today because where there is pressure there is a release of things that we either don't need or we have too much of, and getting rid of those things are what brings about lasting change and true growth.
There are so many things in my life that God has chosen to remove and each time it felt like a storm that would literally drown me. Loss is hard every time. It doesn't matter how much you have experienced it, you will never get used to it and it will never get easier. It could be the loss of a relationship, the death of someone you love, financial security or any number of the things in life that we hold dear to us, but with every loss comes pressure, stress and often times pain and hurt. God says, it's okay because we will not be crushed under the weight of the pressure. We will not end up in despair or be abandoned and yet it feels like we are going to be all of those things. It feels as though the waves are going to swallow us up and drag us down to the ocean floor and never let go. And yet, God says that won't happen.
God chooses so often to allow the death of things we think we need to happen so that we can have the things we actually need and when it's all over we are better for it. We are closer to living out our true potential and we are better at seeing things through the lens he wants us to use. He says that because of the death of these things, we can truly demonstrate Christ who lives and is at work in us. The more we die to ourselves, the more Jesus can be revealed. So if you are feeling the pressure, like so many of us right now, remember this passage and the promise that we will not be crushed by it's weight, but instead we will come out of it bigger, better and stronger and that God's incredible vision for our lives is coming true right before our eyes. This is where only God can get credit. This is where people look and see that only the strength that comes from Christ could get us through and this is when we get to show our jars of clay full of the power of God that lives and works in us and will not stop until his work is complete and our purposes have manifested. That is the God we serve!
1. What areas of your life are you feeling pressure?
2. What things are being removed from your life because of your situation?
3. How can you see yourself benefiting from these things being gone from your life?
4. Ask God to help you accept what he is doing in your life today and reveal to you how to find the strength to survive it.
Until next time, keep striving to become the amazing woman of God he created you to be.