Wednesday, November 9, 2016

THE PRESSURE COOKER OF LIFE


A little glimpse at me in today's post/blog. Maybe I can encourage someone by what I am going through.

The image above of a Pressure Cooker is a pretty accurate picture of how I feel life is treating me and Tanya right now - pressure from all sides. 

I have a lower right back problem. The spine doctor thinks it is disk related because it involves my foot, ankle and calf. The surgeon thinks it is SI Joint related because the MRI does not give enough proof of a large enough bulge to worry over. Tanya thinks there could be a fragment of a disk on a nerve (on my last nerve), this happened to her. So, we have the one million dollar question of what the smoking gun is while I wait for the effects of the latest injection into my SI Joint to do their thing. I am still feeling pinching when I walk and stand though. Sitting I am alright for a while. Sleeping I toss and turn like a fish in a frying pan. Not to great for the wife either.

Speaking of my wife, Tanya. She is and has been so wonderful. She is cook, nurse, secretary, driver, reminder, prayer partner, as well as work her job. Oh, did I mention, she has also been summoned for Jury Duty.

Meanwhile, one of my co-workers was in a car accident and his arm was damaged badly. There are only three of us on our team at work so I am trying to do my part and make things work while figure things out about my back and try to make things easier with Tanya.

Oh, there is a drama coming up, this weekend, at church where I am the Narrator. Thankfully, I can sit for the duration.

My back stuff all began late September to early October but did not really hit the wall until the morning of October 15th, my wedding Anniversary. I also missed celebrating one of my Dad's significant birthdays. All my doctor visits have not gone smoothly and have made me wonder why are they not seeing the same thing. This has been a mess of a wreck in my life.

I have heard voices of others who said, "Welcome to my world, bud." or "It could always be worse." To this I say, "You are not helping." Yes, misery loves company. Yes, there are probably worse issues than mine that people have. However, stating these things does not depressurize me. I am not trying to compare issues. Ask me how to help, tell me how you think you can help, reveal a like experience and solution in a loving tone, encourage me, visit me and pray for me.

I cannot tell you how many times I have inquired of The Lord - What do I learn from all this? Teach me Holy Spirit. The latest Scripture He brought to mind was 2 Corinthians 4:7-9. This verse says -  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.

I believe the key to unlocking and enjoying the rest of the passage is in the first sentence - verse 7. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. Paraphrased - Yes, we are vessels made of clay, but we have a treasure within that displays to others that our usefulness is nothing compared to God's all-surpassing power that can work through us. [How is it displayed?] We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

So, when life is trying to convince you that you are defeated, to just give into the pressures, perplexities, persecutions, abandonment and hits on your mind, body and spirit - just remember He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20) That is why Paul called it that "all-surpassing power"

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:16-18)

For me right now, this is what it means to be under pressure. But even here I have the promises of God to lean on - in the Pressure Cooker of Life.