Monday afternoon is here, the end of a long day of trying to teach Shakespeare to unruly high school students. I’m feeling pressed. The hamster cage is two days past its weekly cleaning. There are dishes in the sink that weren’t done yesterday. As soon as I got home and prepared a snack for my kids, a glass of sticky iced tea showered to the floor. Doleful little-boy eyes looked at me and he apologized.
Admittedly, these are not life-threatening issues. While they create a strange brew of stress and unrest in me, they aren’t the end of the world. It’s just that the past several weeks have been frenetic, with lots of “have to” dates on the calendar. I am one for making margin in my schedule, but recently it hasn’t happened. My brain is fried and my soul is tired.
When the iced tea spilled, my eyes got watery. I know, really? Crying over a spilled drink? It was just the last straw in a long couple of weeks of feeling harried and overwhelmed. I didn’t yell. Instead, with the help of my kids, I wiped it up and moved on. In truth, there are a couple of bigger, more stressful areas of my life I sometimes worry about too.
These bigger concerns make the smaller ones seem much more intense than they really are. The niggling annoyances of everyday mom life right in front of me, coupled with the other more weighty concerns I have, make me feel helpless and hopeless.
After cleaning up iced tea and loading the dishwasher with dishes that were still in the sink from Saturday, the Word of God called out to my heart from my memory.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
That phrase, “pressed but not crushed.” It kept bouncing around in my mind. Yes, I have a lot on my mind, yet I can trust God. As I struggle, I can glorify God in how I respond.
Sometimes I do a great job of this. For example, when the iced tea spilled today, the old me would have yelled and made everyone feel as miserable as I felt at that moment. Instead, I drew in a breath and asked God to give me peace. I didn’t feel peaceful. In fact, I was feeling restless and worried.
Taking a pause, I made the decision to stop and acknowledge Jesus. It only took a moment but refocused me. It also changed what would have happened next if I’d started freaking out. The silent mopping of iced tea with paper towels became an act of worship.
As I washed the days-old dishes, I talked to myself and God about how temporary this life of spilled iced tea and disappointments really is. When I think about what God promises, there’s nothing in my life today that can steal the hope of heaven away from me.
Your days may be riddled with worry or problems that make you feel pressed and powerless. Take heart. More is coming. Better is coming. Jesus is coming. This is all good news.
Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.