Have you ever felt like you’ve reached your limit, been stretched beyond your ability to respond and now all you can do is react?
I know, we all feel that way at times. I share a analogy with my clients of trying to blow up a new balloon.
Have you even taken a brand-new balloon out of the pack and noticed how the sides stick together? What’s the first thing we do? We stretch it to separate the sides from each other.
Have you ever tried to blow up the balloon without stretching it? Your eyes will pop out and your brain will get an immediate headache. Not fun. So, we stretch the balloon:
Then when the air enters the balloon what happens? The balloon stretches some more. More air, the balloon gets bigger. When we get it to the size we want, we tie it off and voilà, we’re ready to decorate. We NOW have what we wanted from the balloon and in its perfect color and size we can use it to our purpose.
God does this with us as well.
We are like a bow in the hands of God. He picks the direction, the arrow, and the target. Then he stretches the bow string, aims, and when HE is ready, he lets go and the arrow flies to the target God choose. The arrow does not control the direction, the target, or the tension on the string. The arrow’s job is to go where the master sends it. The bow is the tool God uses to accomplish his goal.
In life we are going to be stretched, no doubt about it. We are going to find challenges that limit and impact how we want to live. At times we can question God’s plan, get angry at the circumstances, and remain frustrated and irritable all the while not having any ability to change things. Challenges can steal our peace and happiness if we let them.
I don’t know where I heard this saying that apparently was a battle cry, but it’s kind of on-point to what I am thinking, “Mine is not to question why. Mine is but to do or die.” I think it goes back to Civil War era. The point is, we are not going to have all the questions answered for us before we make a decision. Sometimes, there is no clear choice. Sometimes we must make a choice that is between two poor choices and neither one looks like it’s going to have a good outcome.
Every decision has consequences. Not always will those consequences be obvious at the beginning of the decision-making process. Sometimes we must take a risk, a leap of faith, or a stab in the dark. There are no guarantees in life. Every breath we take is a gift. While you go about your day making decisions, try to stay focused on the good and not dwell on the negative.
"The life of the poor is a constant struggle,
but happy people
always enjoy life."
Be stretched, grow, and continue to learn. Look before you leap, contemplate all options, and have faith for a better outcome. Then pray it comes to pass. We at Encouragers might not be able to change someone's circumstances, but we certainly can help bring hope -- and that can bring joy no matter how your circumstances stretch you.
Day 4 of 365: Stretch