As we gathered our belongings and placed them in our moving truck, my heart was broken that I couldn’t hug my friends goodbye. Tears were on the surface, but we were too busy and overwhelmed for me to stop and do what I really wanted to do, cry. You know one of those big cries where you need a whole box of tissue? Yep, that kind of cry with snotty tissues and all. Here we were moving across the United States from the far west, Washington, to Kentucky. So much change was happening, and it wasn’t in my schedule, my plans, to have a pandemic hit our state in the last few weeks. Our plans were to have time to say goodbye to everyone, hug them, cry with them, and hug them some more.
Instead, we couldn’t see anyone or hug them goodbye. Has it become apparent I missed getting to hug everyone before we left? Our goodbye’s felt like a loose end we didn’t take care of. Like a quilt left undone next to my sewing machine or a painting project half done in my garage. It didn’t feel right. Now, we were moving a week earlier than planned due to the fast spread of the deadly virus. The tension was everywhere. Fear was on the rise, and we had no choice but to move forward in the middle of the stress.
My story of tension may be different than yours, but truth be told, it is all around us. Well, really, at any point in our lives, we can be surrounded by it. Today, there is a pandemic, tomorrow it could be marriage conflict, discord within your family, stress, depression, anxiety, or more.
The purpose for the tension.
In 2 Kings 13: 14 – 19, we read about King Jehoash going to see Elisha when he was on his deathbed. In this encounter, Elisha instructs the King to shoot a bow out the east window. Elisha covers the King’s hand with his own, representing the covering of God, while the King stretched the bow back with full tension and then shot it out the window. Elisha then went on to tell him this represented the Lord’s arrow of victory.
Did you see what I did while reading this passage? There was tension before the victory. The bow had to be pulled back before the arrow could go forward into victory. There was no way the arrow could go ahead without the tension and the hand of God was there in the middle of it. Wow, do I feel the Holy Spirit speaking to me on this one. God is there with us friend. He hasn’t left us or forsaken us. Even though it is difficult, hard, overwhelming, heartbreaking, God is with us. Our God is a waymaker who is for us.
As I read this, I felt the challenge today to ask ourselves these questions:
Where in our lives do we feel tension right now?
What is God doing in our lives in the middle of the tension?
Where and what is He repositioning us for?
How are we responding to the tension?
Remember, the pull, the tension is needed for the bow to go the full length of where God intended it to go. So it is for us. God has a plan for each of our lives friend. God’s hand is on our lives right now, in the middle of what we are facing. We may not “feel” it, but God is here.
Would you join me in prayer?
Lord, help us, help me to respond well in the middle of the tension. Help me to take my eyes off of the circumstances that are leading to the tension and fix them on You. Lord, may I not get in the way of the work You are doing in me and on my behalf. Show me when I am in the wrong and create in me a clean heart. Anoint my ears to hear Your voice clearly and anoint my eyes to see what is taking place around me spiritually. Help me to not focus on my fleshly wants, but to focus on Your will and purpose in the tension. Give me abundant grace for others as You give me your abundant grace. And Lord, help me to see the beauty in the middle of the tension. In Jesus name, Amen.
As you spend time this week doing the introspective work needed to understand what is beneath the tension, I would love to hear from you. What is God whispering to your soul while you are doing these? Comment below, visit my website or go to my social media pages to comment. (links below)
P.S. If you have a friend who you believe needs to hear this message, please be sure to share it with them.