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Under Pressure

My children and I have to be out the door by 7:10 every morning to meet up for carpool on time.   I am not a morning person, so we usually wake up at 6:45 am.  Well, I wake up at 6:45 and the kids grumble and whine in their beds.  After a chance or two to get up on their own, I then blast “the Wake-Up Song” by Lisa Loeb and magically my children jump out of bed.  Sometimes, they even have smiles on their faces!   

Our daughter is loving kindergarten, but our son, his journey into pre-school has been a bit more difficult.    We received a note the first or second week that he kept running through the classroom screaming no at his teacher.   The third week, he’d punched a friend in the face.  We regularly received reports that he was crying and screaming and keeping the other kids awake at naptime.

After the first week, I told myself it was just him taking time to adjust.  The second week, I thought he might be acting up because he was starting to feel comfortable.  The third week, I was worried we had made a terrible mistake.  The fourth, fifth, and sixth weeks, I was almost certain of it.  Maybe we started him to early.  Maybe I shouldn’t make him stay for naptime.  Maybe I should start exploring home schooling.

With some encouraging words from my sister (who teaches at his pre-school) and his teacher, we stuck it out.  Now, he loves it.  He’s quite proud when he earns his stamp for the day for good behavior.  He’s even conquered nap time (thanks to a certain Bobbles the hockey-loving baby doll and some very patient teachers)!

I thought about this a few weeks ago as a preacher talked about how God uses pressure to center us in His will.  In Jeremiah 18:1-6, the prophet talks about God as the potter and us as the clay.  The preacher explained that the potter has to use pressure to keep the clay centered in the wheel so he can mold it into his vision. 

My son was struggling with pre-school because he was under pressure – good pressure – to learn new manners and habits, routines of his school day.  We almost quit.  We almost missed his breakthrough.  And what we would have missed if we did!  I love the look of pride on his face for whatever painting or sticker art he’s completed that day.  He’s matured in this short little time span and is very quick to correct anyone that calls him a baby because “I’m a big boy!” 

I wonder how often we get so close to our breakthrough but quit just a moment too soon.  It’s hard.  It’s uncomfortable.  It doesn’t just fall into place, and we think, “this can’t be of God!” 

One of my all-time favorite verses in the Bible is Esther 4:14.  Esther has become Queen and a decree has been made against her people, the Jews.  Her relative Mordecai is urging her to speak up on her people’s behalf, even though the act could cost her her life.  In this verse, he tells her that if she does not make a stand, God can find someone else who’s willing, but that God very well could have placed her in this position, just for this purpose.  She follows through and her people are not only saved, they are blessed and given revenge over their enemies.

It’s easy to think when we come under pressure or meet resistance that the path we’re on isn’t meant for us.    That somewhere, we’ve made a mistake, and we should turn around or give up.  I encourage you today before you quit – search out your Heavenly Father and make sure He hasn’t placed you under pressure for “such a time as this!”  Esther started as someone of little importance and became the queen that saved a nation!  Who can know what God is able to do with your willing heart!

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b

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