In the fall of 2015, the Lord was showing me areas of my life that he wanted to stretch me and cause me to grow. I was going through a stressful time in my life. Charis Bible College in Sherman was just starting, and it would be my first semester as a director. My husband and I were spending hours and hours getting ready in the weeks before the semester launched. In the midst of all that busyness, our new building was broken into, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment was stolen, including the laptop that held all of the curriculum and prep for our coming semester. There were no backups.
The Lord does provide and while our equipment was replaced and curriculum rebuilt, the stress of the whole situation was crippling. I was losing sleep; my hair started falling out. I constantly felt overcharged, like my body was pumped full of adrenaline. During this whole time I was remembering what God had told me about being stretched and if I’m honest I was trying to force it along. I was pushing myself too hard, and it was painful.
I began a workout routine to help cope with the stress of the situation I was going through. God used this to show me what was going on in my life. Stretching is involved in any exercise routine. Stretching even feels good at the end of a workout! However, if you overextend a muscle, by stretching too far or too much, you risk a serious injury. Growth stops and before you can continue to grow you first have to recover. The Lord was showing me that when He stretches me, it shouldn’t be painful or cause me any injury.
Stretching is different for us all. Maybe the Lord wants to move you into a new calling that is way bigger than you. It could be that He wants you to trust Him in a relationship that looks impossible to repair. Perhaps it’s a job that requires more experience and education than you think you have. It’s about growing toward that new place He’s calling you. Stretching should actually be exciting, even exhilarating!
Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In the process of being stretched, we are responsible for exercising faith in Jesus to get us where He wants us to go. Trust enables us to rest. Our part is to exercise faith and trust; His part is to carry us to the final destination of purpose and destiny.
We will never stop this stretching and growing process. But, we can choose whether the process hurts or becomes the most exciting, exhilarating time of our life.
“I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus..” Philippians 1:6