Inspired by Steve Harvey, December 17, 2013.
Stress is necessary in your life for you to get where you want to be in life. You receive stress from those things that you try to accomplish because stress pushes against your desire, your purpose. The more you try to do things in life the more life pushes against it, and your result is stress.
Stress is like dirt.
Dirt is not what you want. No one wants to be dirty or stay dirty. You might have to get dirty to finish the job, but you don't want to stay that way.
We are all seeds and we all need to grow.
But try to grow anything from a seed without using dirt. It just will not grow. You have to dig down and put the seed in the dirt. Dirt is necessary for growth and development. Dirt builds character, dirt gives you the push through factor that all seeds need to become plants.
You get dirt thrown on you in many ways to cover you up.
Someone might throw dirt on you on your job because somebody is accusing you of something you did not do; or a school mate says something about you; or somebody post something about you on Facebook; yet none of these things are true, it's just dirt. Your dirt might be somebody telling you, you are not going to make it, or someone getting in your way and they are stopping you from being what you know you are supposed to be. Your dirt could be a family member that does not know what you know about God and who he wants you to be.
But know while you are getting all this dirt thrown on you, God is always working for the seed.
Just like he does with seed that has fallen from a plant in the woods. He wants that seed to grow into a strong, vibrant plant that can do its purpose. It might be a plant in the woods that no one ever sees, but God has a purpose for that plant. It could be to help the conservation of the ground or to help filter the air; but God has a purpose for that seed to grow into this plant, and he will see it through.
The dirt helps you build character.
While the dirt is being thrown on you, it teaches you to withstand the dirt, the stress. You hold back from stress as you to gain character to deal with life; just as a see, you push up through the dirt. The more you push the more you grow and develop. The dirt is your place to prove yourself (Malachi 3:10; Acts 24:13, 25:7). When something has been proven, it has sustain character that identifies its makeup (Romans 12:2). Eventually something starts taking place, a new plant breaks through and starts growing above the dirt. All your dirt is your place of planting; your place for being developed. And soon, with watering of the Word, and the light of the SON, you start pushing and pushing, shoving that dirt back, until your life start showing this beautiful new plant.
What the world and life does not understand about dirt it is soil. Soil has nutrients in it. When people are talking about you and lying about you, dogging you out, they are actually putting nutrients in you dirt turning it into soil. Your soil is your character.
You must understand every plant that you see in a garden was underground when it started. But once it has been proven, it started pushing through the stress, the dirt because the nutrients in the soil energized the seed causing it to change and develop, and new life emerges. After you grow above the stress you become a new plant and then you can start growing fruit.
So don't be fooled by the stress or words from people who would try to get you to live without stress. It is not that we need to go out looking for stress, it will come anyway. But let the stress be what helps you to grow character.
You may say, well God does not want you to go through this, this is of the devil. I am sure things that push on you in life is not from God, but because the dirt is there, God uses it to build you up so you will have strength to grow into your plant. You are a seed and God intends for you to grow into a plant so you can produce fruit. How are you going to get there without your dirt. God promises you will have growth from it, it is a spiritual law. Romans 8:28 is God's promise to use the dirt and cause growth in your life. If Jesus had to undergo stress, how do you think you can grow without it.
The good thing about having dirt thrown on you, once you have been proven, once your plant has broken through the dirt, you can take whatever the dirt will bring, and in some ways, you need it to grow stronger. Think about it a moment, the nastier the dirt with fertilizer, the better a plant grows. So bring it life, the more you throw on, the nastier you get, the more I can grow strong and stand rich and full for Jesus Christ.
The greenest grass has the nastiest fertilizer.
When I was a boy we lived out in the country area from Sacramento, California, in a place called Pleasant Grove. This was about thirty miles outside of Sacramento. In those days you had septic tanks and field lines that were open. All the homes around there had open field lines. All the lines were just pipes that ran out to a certain place on your property and emptied into a hole what was usually just a lower place on the property. All the sewage was just an open area. It was so far away it did not stink, but it really energized the soil and foliage around that area. You always knew where these places were on everyone's property because it stayed so green. The grass grew thick and healthy around the sewer pond. So, when you are getting the nasty things of life dumped on you, I don't suggest you stay in the sewer, but I do suggest you understand the more nasty things you overcome, the greener you grass will be; the stronger your character will be.
Overcoming Stress is like doing a hundred push-ups.
The average person cannot do a hundred push-up.
Because this is a task that is difficult, most people are not going to even try to complete 100 push-ups.
You say you have the greatest relationship with the Greatest of All time? He took 5000 people, two fish and five loaves of bread. And he feed all of them. Yet, you don't want to try 100 push-ups? They take rocket ships to the moon, take off from the moon, bring it back to the earth and land it in the same place they took it off from, and you don't want to try 100 push-ups?
That's because you don't think you can do the hundred push-up.
The thing about push-ups is after you get started it gets difficult. But let's say you manage to get off 20 push-ups. And instead of stopping, keep at it and praying for strength and you manage to knock out 40 push-ups. Now you see that you can still keep pressing and as you do you see you are building up more strength and now you are where you can reach 75 push-ups. By this time you notice everything on you is shaking, your teeth is cracking, your eyes are busting out of your head, and at this point you can't belief what is happening to you. By the time you get to eighty, your clothes don't look the same any more. You somehow get to ninety and it's all coming loose now. Then through prayer and some kind of way; you don't have to know how, you just know it is taking place, and though everything in you is about to blow up, you have done it, you reach 100 push-ups!
Now that you have made it to 100 push-ups, you have arrived, you are successful, then what do I have to do to stay successful, stay where you can keep doing 100 push-ups?
You have to hold that position. After you have done 100, lock and hold, which is harder than getting to 100 push-ups.
People think, well you have made it, you are successful. It is harder to stay there than it was to get there. But you must understand the only thing that gets a person to 100 push-ups is they tried it. They did not make it the first time, most will not make it the first 20 times they try, but they do not stop and the keep working it until one day, maybe many, many days later you finally get where you can do 100 push-ups at a time.
Some days reaching the 100 is harder than others. But holding after each time is what makes it easier for the next time. It is that holding stress that takes you further and further each time. But without the holding stress, you will never sustain the success. You will fall back below 100 push-ups and be satisfied that you were there at one time. That's not sustaining success, that's failing in success!
Why get there if you are not going to stay there?
If you do not hold your success you are living in the failure.
People do this when all they do is talk about the failure or accuse people of always not making it.
To be successful in overcoming stress you must hold your position.
Don't bend, don't shake! You do your 100 push-ups and then you Hold Your Position!
In the Up position and resist the stress factor.
The more you do it, the more you hold, the easier it gets to resist the stress.
Pretty soon you get where holding the position is normal and you can now be a trainer;
Help others to get there.
Your first 100 push-ups starts NOW. . .Ready? Begin. . .One. . .Two. . .Three. . .Four. . .
I shared all of this to inspire you to do things for Jesus that might be difficult at first, but when you really get into it, the Holy Spirit gives you power to sustain that which you are doing. Disciples are use to doing hard things. We are working out that which Christ has put in us.