Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

There are some books that you can read once and never pick up again. Then there are other books that you can read countless of times, and something new always emerges from it’s well worn pages. Life and strength, peace and comfort, love and faith and hope, this is what my Bible is to me. And I hope, to you as well.

Lately I’ve found myself caught in what some call the tension of life. Those moments where you seem to get everything AND the kitchen sink thrown at you, and you find yourself wondering, where exactly did it go so wrong? But you know what? Even with all that, the tension is good, and it is something I am thankful for.

Embracing the Tension

Every Christian will go through periods of trials. (1 Peter 4: 12-19) The usual reaction, which is very human, is to try and run from it all. But here’s the thing, if we try and run away from things, we forget the fact that God, in His infinte wisdom, uses both good AND bad things to help mold us into the people we are called to be.

Tension, though uncomfortable, is not bad. For just as athletes need to stretch and push their muscles when working out and training, or David’s slingshot needed to be stretched to fired stones at Goliath, so we need to understand that tension is merely something God is using to stretch us and raise us up to a new level. This is why in everything we do, we must always, always pray.

As we close out another year (or semester for those of you still in school), you might be feeling the tension right now. Maybe you’ve got lots of finals to study for, a major deadline to reach at work, ministry and family responsibilities. Maybe you’re struggling to keep you head afloat with finances or doing a missional community.

Whatever you’re facing, my encouragement is this: Keep seeking God. Run to Him the harder things get. The Jesus that you asked into your heart is with you, and you are not alone. He is the peace that comes when you bow your head to pray, the words that jump out when you read the Bible, and the still small voice that encourages you to hope even when all seems lost.

The battle has been won. You can do this. Stay strong.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  – Isaiah 41:10