Pressure by Robin Densmore Fuson
Hurricane Idalia barreled up the Gulf toward Florida and our house sat in the predicted path. My husband and I were on a trip to Colorado. Keeping an eye on the swirling mass in the ocean, we headed home to batten down the hatches.
With two days to spare, we arrived home. The loose furniture and planters, we pulled into the house, garage, or lanai. We got propane for the grill that has an attached burner. Our inventory included bottled water and canned and freeze-dried food.
Lanterns, flashlights, batteries, and a small wind-up charger sat waiting. I put five single gallons of water in the freezers in case the power went out. In an emergency, they would keep things cold for a few days. The hot tub holds hundreds of gallons for toilet flushing.
We were all set.
Thank the Lord, the storm didn’t hurl onto land near us. Normal storms are much worse than what we got. We were blessed. Property only six miles away flooded. Some of our friends from church lost everything. At their place, water flooded in up to counter height. Location means a lot during a hurricane.
When I knew we were in the clear, I pulled the jugs out of the freezers and set them on the shelves in the garage. Mistake. Bad mistake.
Those plastic containers had slits where the pressure from the expanding ice split open the seams. I didn’t see the gashes because they weren’t dripping. But as they thawed, water seeped, trickled, and in some cases, poured out.
I had taken one into the house and saw a puddle under it. At first, I thought it was sweating and set it in the sink. Imagine the surprise when I picked up a half-empty jug.
We are like those jugs of water under pressure. Troubles come. Situations seem impossible to overcome—Too many bills making our bank accounts scream for money, someone maligns us, our feelings get hurt, a friend snubs us, work is too demanding, our grades are not up to par. a loved one is sick, or dying, we may have a disease or chronic pain, sleepless nights line up, we can’t find something we need and we’ve searched everywhere and it’s elusive—All these things pile upon each other and we feel smothered. The pressure becomes too great.
Something has to give.
The seams of the jug gave way. The seams of life can give way.
When this happens, we explode. We take it out on others or ourselves. We can withdraw or go on the offensive. Other times we do things that temporarily make us feel better, like eating, shopping, binge watch, drinking, drugs, lying, and avoiding others. But in the long run, those things are more damaging. Now we are overweight, closets packed, addicted, in debt, and lonely.
The Lord doesn’t want us to live that way. When pressures mount, we need to call out to Him. We need to pour out our hearts to Him. We need to reach out to dependable, caring people. We need to immerse ourselves in the Word of God and listen to uplifting podcasts or videos and praise music. We need to read books that encourage. Pouring our troubles out to others can be beneficial.
If I had let some water out of the jugs before freezing them, they would’ve been able to expand without any problem. Their seams would be fine.
In the same way, we need to pour out when too much happens in our lives.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 nlt)
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 nlt)