How do you handle pressure?

Am I the only one who’s felt more than once as doomsday approaches (er…I mean election day) like you’re in one of those nightmares where the bad guy is chasing you but you can’t move? You’re running and screaming and crying for help, but no one hears and he closes in and you’re stuck in quicksand with the feeling of “There’s nothing I can do to escape!” burning in your belly?

Or is it just me?

I had a dream years ago that I was leaving the mall and I just knew in my gut that if I walked out those doors alone someone would get me.

I tried to get a police officer to walk me out, but he was busy. Then I asked the guy who was bulging with muscles to help, but he couldn’t be bothered.

I asked the next guy and the next guy and the next guy with this feeling of utter desperation sinking into my bones, but no one would help me.

Finally, this scrawny little kid agreed to walk me out. Whew. I wasn’t alone. Finally someone to protect me (even though I doubt he could have saved me from a kitten).

As we walked out, the thug approached and we were both shaking in our boots. Just as he was about to grab us, I woke up, sweating and panting and scared out of my wits.

Then the Lord spoke to my heart. “If you would have only asked Me, I would have gotten you to your car without harm.”

Duh! The natural tendency was to get someone I could see to help, but God was there all along with the power to protect me. All I had to do was ask.

There’s a cycle to fear.

flow-chart

Danger is felt. Pressure rises up. We react. The pressure is released. Peace comes.

In my dream, the pressure was the fear of being attacked. I did something that took the pressure off, and I had peace.

What I did wasn’t helpful. My choice of protector didn’t have the ability to keep me safe. And even though it brought peace, it was a false sense of peace because the threat was still very real.

As I observe what’s happening as November 8th looms, I see the church going through the same cycle.

We see the news and want to run and hide and punch someone out at the same time. Isn’t anyone going to do something? Hopelessness. Helplessness. Pressure.

We need to act. Facebook. That’s it. Our fingers type with purpose our words of wisdom with some frustration and anger and fear mixed in. “I have a voice, and I must to use it. That will surely help!”

Sigh. The pressure is released and a sense of peace comes.

But really, it’s a false peace. Our rant may have released the pressure but it didn’t release any power.

Venting on social media or in a text or on a phone call may make us feel better, but it doesn’t help the problem at all.

The reaction in the church used to be so, so different. Instead of using our voice on social media to straighten people out, we used to lift our voice to God and release His power into the problem through prayer.

first-of-all-pray

The raw emotion this election cycle is evoking is astounding. We feel that burden of a need to DO something pressing on us. That’s a good thing.

But let’s do the right thing. The helpful thing. The powerful thing.

Venting on Facebook is like me asking a 6-year-old to protect me against an armed attacker. Ineffective.

Prayer releases God’s power and plan and purpose into the earth, and He really is the only One who is able to fix our crazy, mixed up, confused nation. He’s a supernatural God who still does supernatural things!

Which voice are you going to use today?

james-5

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