Pressed but Not Crushed

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.

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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.

10 thoughts on “Pressed but Not Crushed

  1. Have a blessed day!! Thank you..
    staying focused is hard, but it’s
    necessary to move forward!!!
    Love you!
    Love reading your blogs

  2. Hello Friend,
    There’s a great song called New
    Wine (by Hillsong) that helps us
    realize the reason for our pressing…
    https://youtu.be/QbJaM_EneMw

    On some days it’s hard to grasp that
    fact that our pressing is done
    intentionally by our loving God. We
    just feel the pain or pressure or loss.
    But when we learn the secret of
    yielding to the hands of our
    sovereign God as you did, we find
    that God is able to create a new
    thing. Sometimes just strength
    enough to mop a floor quietly. Later
    we realize that that moment plants a
    seed in a child that later grows into
    an amazing thing.

    I attended the funeral of a 3 month
    old baby a few weeks ago. The
    child’s parents had mostly been able
    to touch the child through an
    incubator window and had only
    been allowed to hold their child a
    few times. When he was taken off of
    the respirator, they rejoiced for
    hours because their so many
    prayers had been answered. Then
    the unthinkable happened and the
    world stopped for them.
    I sat at that funeral and watched the
    most beautiful thing I have ever
    seen. A broken mom and dad stood
    worshipping God and thanking him
    for the three months they had with
    their son and that had changed the
    rest of the their lives. What
    impacted me the most was that on
    the front pew, two of the baby’s
    siblings sat watching their parents.
    What a beautiful and lasting legacy
    they built in their children in that
    incredible moment of brokenness.
    While we can’t understand why God
    allows some of the things He does,
    we can trust that He will work out
    EVERYTHING (whether spilled
    drinks or major life changes) for our
    good and for His glory.

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