Build up strength for the future.
As the year soon comes to a close and a new one begins, it is ideal that we find strength to help deal with the pressures and challenges not just for the coming year but also for other years to come.
Get a canned drink. While still sealed, try folding it in with both your hands. Did it affect the can as much as you tried? Or did it go just as far as its content allowed?
Now open the can and empty it of its content. Attempt folding it in just like you did while it was yet sealed. It folds in easily when compared to your first attempt I believe. Now, this folding in effect would be more apparent when the can is brought as close to a vacuum as is possible with the help of a pump. That way the can crumples in with the application of minimal external pressure. It is thus worthy of note that the ease with which the can crumples in is less dependent on the externally applied pressure than it is on the strength of its internal content.
This is how the world works. It is set up in such a way that it ceaselessly serves up unwarranted pressures. It tries hard to tell us what beauty is, what success is, what love means, and what we are meant to have achieved, become, possessed at certain stages of our lives. It often does this through the Media, our employers, friends, colleagues, clerics and instructors and even family. They subtly serve us ideas of what and how we should be.
Being exposed to these forms of pressure isn’t exactly perilous. The real peril arises when we begin accepting them as natural, normal, [worse still] ideal, and allow them mold us. This happens facilely when we possess little or no strength on the inside.
Like the applied external pressure of your hand changes the identity of the empty can as described above, so these pressures which arise from the common ideas and expectations people [ and we] place on us have a way of changing our original identities and shaping us into what we weren’t meant to be.
Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
One has to build up sufficient internal strength to withstand these unavoidable external pressures life serves up. As challenges befall us, strength can be gotten, in a little way, by:
- Learning from the experiences of people who have had to face similarly difficult or worse challenges and have come out of it the better. This you can do by exposing yourself to relevant materials – literature for example.
- Finding solace in the company of those who bear common burdens, are willing to share their individual experiences and tackle such challenges head on.
Oh, you are a lady, you are 32, unmarried. As a result, society says you have a problem, and now you are beginning to wonder and believe you really have a problem. It’s simple: find other ladies who are about the same age as you, and are willing to share their experiences and educate and enlighten another enough to know that society is often wrong about its standards. Build up yourselves, and live. Read about ladies who’ve benefited from the joys of singleness.
There are more ways of finding strength to deal with pressures by seeking help and lending a leaf from the experiences of fellow humans, but all of them, though seemingly good, are only a poor man’s version of the strength that the highest Being, the divine Being, the Father of beings, God offers. I only stated the two above in order to sound normal.
Now, the purpose of finding strength to withstand external [and consequently internal] pressures is to preserve our identities, our true selves. Does anyone exist who knows our true selves better than the One who made us? We often think we know so much of ourselves, only to find that God’s knowledge of us infinitely exceeds our knowledge of ourselves. God knows us from cradle to posterity, spirit to soul to body, head to toe, thoughts to actions, and motives to expressions. Nothing about us is hidden from Him; not the past, not the present, not the future.
O Lord, You have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even from a distance.
Far better than the liquid is to the can, God is the source of real strength; He is real strength. There is a [very low] limit to the amount of pressure other forms of strength can bear. They yield when exerted pressures exceed their capacity. Can human strength withstand intense spiritual pressure? Can you surpass the craft of the devil who has overseen countless generations? Or do we live like the spiritual isn’t of greater importance than the physical?
Just like nothing but diamond can cut through diamond, so nothing but God exceeds God – He is the highest source of everything good – strength inclusive.
The best of humanity is less as ‘white’ as ash and as such cannot be a standard for the definition of white, whereas, the least of divinity is whiter than snow.
So, when you find the real God, you will find that He alone can keep you perfectly sane and strong. Such sanity and strength aren’t restricted to the sanity and strength of mind and soul, but go deeper to the sanity and strength of spirit. With these we are able to see and live ideally – as God would have us live – while also possessing enough strength to restrict whatever evil comes our way. God alone can keep us on the path of truth, right, correctness, and joy, same path on which we had been ordained to walk through all eternity.
He alone is able to perfectly order our steps. He strengthens us with enough strength to withstand the pressures He lets come our way, and shields us from pressures which seem greater than us. He is our strength, our shield, our song, our salvation. All these are only assured when we have found and made Him our God.
This God isn’t unknown anymore. He has revealed Himself in Christ His Son, His living Word, His graced and chosen One, the One who is the reflection of the real identity of man and God alike [for we were made to be a part of the family of God], the One who alone bridges the gap between all of heaven and all of earth. Searching for God beyond Christ would only bring you to a semblance but counterfeit of God. Put such a god to test and you will see how well he’ll fail.
The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
Make Him, from today, your strength, song and salvation for life. Live on Him and by His Spirit and His Word, the Holy Scriptures build up your strength.
Let Him help you live above the pressures of marriage, relationships, work, love, being and living.
Have a wonderful new year.
There are numerous inspirational biblical verses on strength, do good to take a look at them.