“May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace.”
– Psalm 29:11 (ESV)
In the arena of sports, pressure is our constant companion. The coach’s heart pounds as he sends in the play that will decide the outcome of the game. The athlete has no place to hide as she stands in the batter’s box with the bases loaded, two outs and her team down by a run. I have always admired coaches and athletes who seem to excel in these situations. Typically, those who learn to produce under pressure enjoy great success and are well compensated for their skills. Have you ever wondered why some people wilt under pressure and others seem to thrive? I believe one of the greatest teachers in handling pressure is experience. When the coach or athlete has been there before, often a peace takes over and the situation is not as overpowering. Instead of fear and panic, a quiet confidence takes over. They trust their training and face the situation head on.
Facing the pressures of daily living can also be challenging. A serious illness, financial struggles, or a stressful working situation can put the weight of the world on our backs. I have faced each of those situations more than once in my lifetime. When I was young and immature in my faith, I did not always handle the storms of life well. I had little experience to draw from and usually tried to deal with the situation in my own strength. As I matured with age and grew in my faith, I learned some valuable lessons by watching others. I observed men and women face their storms with a quiet confidence, never giving in to fear or panic. I learned that the source of their peace was a relationship with Jesus Christ. They felt the very presence of God in those situations. The storms will come, but we can always trust God’s promises and face the challenges head on—together.
Heavenly Father, thank You for always being with me in the storms of life. Give me Your peace today as we face the challenges together. Amen.