“When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me to a spacious place.” Ps. 118:5
This week for my inspiration piece, I wanted to share one of my favorite an excerpts from Holley Gerth’s new book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days. You can look head over to my book review for more of my thoughts about her book.
“We’re not made to live under continual pressure. Our culture tries to tell us otherwise. Were supposed to pursue success, keep a busy social calendar, and have all the latest and greatest products on the market. Were told that is what leads to happiness. Yet we end up falling behind most of the time. Or if we do manage to keep up, we discover those promises from the commercial simply don’t deliver. We can ever turn our faith into a part of the pressure we fell. We have to be a church every time the doors are open, pray more, and try harder.
“The day we realize we just can’t do it all can feel like our biggest moment of failure. But it’s actually the first step to true success. Saying “Enough!” isn’t a word of weakness. It’s one of the most powerful ones you can utter. It means that you believe God has a better way. It means you’re not trying to gain the approval of others but rather you’ve decided to live for the joy of your Master. It means you believe who the creator made you is good and your identity is secure in him.
“One of the only other places in Scripture where the phrase “hard pressed” is found comes from the apostle Paul:
‘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.’ (II Cor.4:7-9)
“God’s power replaces the pressure. Sometimes God takes us to a new place, and sometimes he makes new space inside us. A new space of freedom and peace with plenty of room for joy. The process of changing our lives will vary with each of us. For some, it may mean saying a difficult no to some worthwhile things on our calendars. For others it may mean introducing healthier habits like exercise to deal with stress. It might mean a few tweaks or a transformation. Only God knows what you need. Whatever it looks like for you, God will give you’re the power to do it. Over time you’ll find that instead of the world pushing in, you’ll be living from a new space of strength and resilience deep within. “ (pp. 185-189)
As I have been seeking to live more of the life God has for me, times come when I am misunderstood and at times judged for the decisions I make. Whether by friends, strangers or family – does not really matter who does it there is no pleasure in being misunderstood. What great confidence and hope come when in the place of making hard decisions I remember – God understands it, He will see me through, and the place I am in and moving toward is spacious for He is with me and is working in it all.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For those interested in a bit of encouragement from Holley, she will be hosting a face(book) club for What Your Heart Needs For the Hard Days. Check it out on her blog at: http://holleygerth.com/heart-needs-hard-days. To join all you have to do is “like” her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HolleyGerthPage.