Are You Under Pressure?

sprite bottleThe wording on labels can sometimes evoke a meaning for me that I’m fairly sure is not what the manufacturer had in mind.

Such was the case when I spotted some old glass pop bottles at a yard sale. The Sprite bottle’s green glass had a white banner on the neck with the words Contents under pressure. Handle with care. I called my husband over to see it and said, “Some people should have that warning label!”

My amusement faded when I realized that I have often qualified as one of those people. Too many things to do and not enough time to accomplish everything can put me under pressure. This is usually something I’ve brought upon myself, either by taking on more than I should or procrastinating until I’m short on time. Even so, the pressure builds and those around me need a warning to stay clear, lest I explode.

This doesn’t happen as frequently as it did in the past. I am learning to bring my plans to Jesus. When I ask for his direction on what to say, “yes” or “no” to, my life runs much smoother. By making time with him the number one priority on my list I am better equipped to handle whatever comes my way. His guidance will enable me to keep the pressure under control. There is no better way to start my day than letting Jesus handle it with his loving care.

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3 NIV)

Emergency Scene

prayer, Holy Spirit, conscienceMy husband and I were driving on a major highway when the traffic slowed and merged to one lane. We were expecting road work to be the cause of the delay. Soon we came upon a large sign that said: Emergency Scene Ahead, and realized that this was not the case.

Up ahead, in the median, we saw a semi with its roof crushed and windows shattered. Its trailer was being loaded onto a flat deck, while another tow truck worked on the cab. The warning signs had given us the time to slow down and move over to give emergency crews space to work.

Thinking about these warning signs, I wondered what signs I have in my life to warn me of emergency situations ahead. The biggest one is my conscience. The Holy Spirit speaks to me, warning me of things that will cause problems. When I heed these warnings, things go smoothly. It is when I ignore the warning and forge ahead that I put myself in danger.

In order to live securely I need to spend time in prayer and pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit. By doing this, there will be less emergency scenes in my life.

The Lord’s beloved people will live securely with him. The Lord will shelter them all day long. (Deuteronomy 33:12B) GWT

Speed Bumps

God, inspirationSpeed bumps are necessary to ensure traffic safety. Going over the bump causes me to slow down my vehicle. I am used to speed bumps that are fairly low and just a minor inconvenience. Years ago, when my sister-in-law was still a teenager, she told me that she could drive over them fast enough that she didn’t feel the bumps!

In some areas the speed bumps are not only high, but also wide. These definitely impact my speed as I need to slow to a crawl to get over them. The nice thing is that there are signs alerting us as we approach them. That way we can prepare and not be caught off guard.

I look at the warning signs and wonder what it would be like to have a sign warning me when I am coming up to a speed bump in my life. Some of the speed bumps I’ve encountered have been just minor irritations, hardly slowing me down. Others are the large, bone jarring kind that causes me to almost stop in my tracks. They may even seem too large to get past. If I had the warning sign in life, I may do more than slow down. Not wanting the uncomfortable interruption on my otherwise smooth path, I may turn around instead of moving forward. If I know what the future holds, there is no need for faith and trust in the Lord. I don’t need to second guess myself, I only need to trust that the Lord is guiding me and he knows what is best.

But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14 NIV