There are times in my life that I’ve encountered so much OPPOSITION! I’ve struggled, strained and wondered what all the junk was about anyway! Sometimes I’ve wanted to quit, and other times I actually have.
You know it’s the extreme PRESSURE over a long period of time that turns a dirty hunk of coal into a beautiful diamond. It’s the pressure that makes it sought after… so valuable that people want it.
I wonder if it’s the pressure in our lives that actually makes US more valuable.
We outran a hurricane!
My husband, David, and I were in Jamaica for our 15th wedding anniversary when the forecasters warned about a tropical storm that was headed our direction. It wasn’t supposed to hit until Wednesday night and we were flying out Wednesday at noon, so we didn’t think it would be a problem.
I prayed and asked God to hold the weather off until we got out, so that we could enjoy a little vacation. Sitting at breakfast Tuesday morning, I prayed again in faith, asking God to continue the nice weather He had given us.
Then suddenly it came up in my spirit, “Get out of there… NOW!!!”
Immediately, I called our son, Austin, back in the states and asked him to find us a flight OUT of Jamaica. We were due to be at an important meeting across the country on Thursday that we just couldn’t miss.
From that very first phone call, we encountered extreme OPPOSITION. At first, Austin was busy and he was just going to wait and help us later in the day.
I had to explain to him that when you’re dealing with hurricanes and international flights… minutes count! We could miss this flight by putting it off until later. It took a STRONG conversation on my part to finally make it happen.
When I hung up the phone, we had exactly 80 minutes before our flight left. I was still in my swimsuit at the resort, not even in my room, not packed and still a good 20 minutes away from the airport. (They recommend you arrive 2 to 3 hours early for an international flight.)
Not so fast!
I ran up to our room and realized that I didn’t have my room key. David had stopped off in the lobby to get something, so I began dancing around wishing he would hurry up.
When he got there, he jumped in the shower. But I was freaking out and just threw everything in our suitcases. I didn’t even shower and we were out of that room in less than five minutes.
As we tried to leave the hotel, no taxi would take us because we didn’t have a checkout slip from the hotel. So we had to go back and hassle with the hotel to get them to check us out in a hurry. When we finally got out to the taxi again, they hadn’t even started loading our bags yet. Are you kidding me?
We gave the taxi driver a generous tip to FLOOR IT and get us to the airport, which he did! Thank you Jesus! It seemed this one thing wasn’t working against us!
When we got to the airline desk we were hoping to have tickets reserved, but nothing had been purchased yet. There were two men standing next to us at the ticket counter, arguing about how they wanted to leave. The clerk told them plainly, there were NO MORE TICKETS!
We were convinced that we had gotten there too late and they had given our seats away. How amazed we were when we gave them our names and, lo and behold, we got the LAST TWO TICKETS out of Jamaica before the hurricane hit!!!
We watched the news reports as Sandy turned from a tropical storm into a SUPER HURRICANE threatening the entire East Coast of the United States. I know what it feels like to be under PRESSURE and how listening to God and your spirit can deliver you from a bad situation.
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army…” Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP)
Blessing in Disguise
At the time, it seemed tough fighting the OPPOSITION just to get on that flight. Now I can see that it was really a BLESSING to be able to get out before the brunt of the storm hit and locked everything down. It’s funny how often great PRESSURE and opposition PRECEDE bizarre blessing.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 (MSG)
Sometimes it’s not the pressure of what you endure, but the blessing of what you miss. Learn to love the PRESSURE, and see it as a sign that it will make you shine like the DIAMOND you are!
Share your struggles.
What great moments of PRESSURE have you faced? How did having faith in God help you overcome the OPPOSITION?
Great words Pastor Nicole. My season has been way too long. I have been out of a job for three years and my son has had addiction problems for many years. It makes me so weak the longer it goes that I just feel like giving up at times which is so unlike me. I have always been a strong person but these two things have beat me down. Fact is, without my Faith sometimes which may at times be as small as a mustard seed, He always sees me through, and no matter what….I can never give up! Thanks for the encouragement!
Our daughter also has a drug problem. Know that I am praying for you. Recently my husband and I went up to the prayer team after service to pray for her as she has been on my heart so strong lately, and when we prayed, the prayer member asked God to bring SOMEONE ELSE before her to help her. I had never thought of that. I thought is was my job and my responsibility and I was not doing a very good job. That prayer helped me – to think that God has a plan for her that involved someone else to help her. It was a relief for me and brought hope that she will find someone to help her get her life back on track. I hope this helps you. Be strong. God loves you and has you in his hands.
Pam – The fact that you haven’t given up on her and continue to pray for her will be her saving grace. We all need praying momma’s and that is what you are doing. Keep it up everyday – prayer changes things!!!
Tammy – You go girl! DON’T GIVE UP!!! And be open. God may have a different direction for you in terms of occupation. Sometimes what doesn’t look great or like what we would want turns out to be the biggest blessing of all!!!!
Love your blog this week Pastor Nicole. This semester in college I have had so much stress on my shoulders to make sure that I do all my english assignments right. There are times when I feel like I’m going to fail than there are times when I feel like I am going to succeed. Everytime when I would write an essay for my englsih class I would feel pressured to do a good job so I could get a good grade. The semester is almost over with The pressure is starting to go away. Every night I would pray to god asking him to give me strength to get through the pressure. God’s Faith has made me more determined to just forget about the pressure that I am under and just enjoy life to the fullest. God is amazing and I believe he is going to get me trhough this semester just fine. Thank you for teh encouragemnet Pastor Nicole
This pressure is like a pressure cooker. Taking something raw (your talent) and turning it into a delicacy that many will want!!!! You are doing great. Keep your eyes focused on Him. This is a great time for you to learn how much you can trust Him too!
I am proud of Cheryl, don’t quit!
You know that recently went through cancer and chemo, and while I am blessed to be healed – that was a lot of pressure not only for me but for Mark and the boys. We talked a lot about how my priorities have changed since then…and I felt that God was telling me it was time to quit my job and be a stay at home “Nani”. But one thing that held us back was being able to provide college for the boys. After checking into Social Security for me, I found that the boys are entitles to some money monthly EACH until they are 18 years old under my SS benefits!! I get to be home with the boys, and their college is covered! God is so Good!!
Pam, You are the perfect example of being able to see beyond today. I am so proud of you in SO MANY ways!!!!! You are a gift form God in a million ways and the boys could not be blessed with a greater ‘Nani’!!!!