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If your life is anything like mine, the word stressure should make sense to you. Life is filled with it.

We have stress all around us and we feel pressure from every side to make the right decision about which way to turn, what to do next, what to eat, what not to eat, which job to take, which educational path to pursue, which friends to associate with, who to avoid, which diet to try, what exercise will work the quickest, which vitamins will give us the best bang for our buck…it can all lead to STRESSURE if we’re not careful and prayerful!

But think for a moment about how pearls are formed. A tiny grain of sand or another foreign object enters the oyster shell and causes a little irritation. Easy for me to say; I’m not the oyster trying to develop a callous to deal with it. Before long, (one to 20 years), a pearl is formed. Diamonds are also formed under only the greatest of pressure and the highest of temperatures.

Sometimes, we may wonder why we must endure trials of such great length and discomfort. I often think of the refiner’s fire in the Scriptures and have to remind myself that God is allowing the trials to come, not causing them, so that anything not like Him can be removed from my character in order for the likeness of His Son to shine through.

Of course it’s painful. Of course we’d prefer something more like a soft polishing cloth and some gentle misting every now and then, but comfort doesn’t produce strength and perseverance, it doesn’t reveal the heart of a person. Think of the kings and queens in the Bible who had everything and began to think they were their own gods…When things become difficult it’s easier to recognize Who is truly in charge and how necessary He is to your very existence. I believe that it is in those moments of raw and honest humility that we shine like the diamonds we were always meant to be. That is when we find our true purpose and calling and light the way for others towards the mercy seat.

Be grateful for the irritants and the stressure. It means He is working something in you and through you and He trusts you with the circumstances you find yourself in. Praise Him in the midst of your situation. You are of great value in the Kingdom and beyond!

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