Do you have anything that bugs you in the course of your day? One of those little things that set me off is when I am making a sandwich for lunch. I might be a bit weird, but I like an abundant smattering of mayonnaise on both sides of the bread. I can just hear all you health nuts sighing about now and am looking forward to all the comments about how bad real mayonnaise is for you! Well, I’m sorry but I’ve tried all the light varieties and even the ones made with olive oil and they just taste funny to me! It is hard to beat a good old spreading of Kraft Real Mayo!
But back to my bug… Once and awhile I will add a small dab of mustard depending on what type of sandwich I am creating at the time. The thing that gets me going is when I turn over the bottle of mustard and squeeze only to be rewarded with a puddle of yellow water that soaks the bread! Since I add it so infrequently, I tend to forget to shake it up before I squeeze. But that presents another problem in that if you’re not gentle with the amount of pressure you use, you might end up spraying mustard all over your sandwich, the counter and yourself when you attempt to flip it over in order to stop the flow!
In reading Romans 12:12 earlier today, I was reminded of all this. Paul tells us to: “Let your hope (or expectations) make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and persistent in prayer.” (CEV/ISV) It was during my deeper examination of his exhortation to “Be patient in time of trouble…” that brought me to my lunch counter antics! Thayer’s Greek Definitions defines the word “patient” as “to endure, to bear bravely and calmly” and “trouble” as “a pressing, to press together or pressure.”
Those two definitions gave me vivid pictures of my mustard analogy in line with what happens when the pressures of life squeezes us. First we get a little shook up and then the pressure comes. When that occurs we tend to find out what is really inside of us as it comes out… and many times it will spray out all over us along with everyone around us! If you’ve been packing in the Word, then your reaction will most likely be in line with it. On the other hand… if your focus in that area of your life has been on something else, that’s what probably is going to spray forth!
I believe that is what the Lord was trying to show me about some of the unexpected and unlikely reactions we received from a few folks. When the especially difficult situation affecting my wife’s health hit home, they got squeezed a bit unexpectedly and sprayed out some not so nice things. I would think that each of us may have areas in our lives that might not be to the level of trust in God and His Word that we need to be at. It could simply be that we aren’t aware of it, have never faced a situation there before or have inadvertently set another idol like money, the job, pleasure or anything else that has replaced Papa God as our true source of satisfaction and security in that particular area.
So how do you know if you need fortification or not? You seek the Lord! Simply ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all the truth. I like to ask Him to open the eyes and ears of my understanding to receive His wisdom whenever I seek His guidance. As you sincerely and steadfastly follow after Him, He will lead you to the scriptures you need and will begin to show you the areas that you may need some building up in! Many times He will point out things that we never imagined ourselves to be lacking in.
So go for it! Pursue a little preventative care on your own behalf! Then when the pressure comes you won’t spray out something that could take a long time to clean up! Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting today?”