Have you ever used a pressure cooker? The giant old fashioned ones with the pressure gauge on top? As a young girl, there was a certain amount of fear associated with that giant pot. A fear carefully instilled in me by my mother. The pressure must never get too high.
Sometimes my life feels like that…like a pressure cooker slowly simmering. Most days, I can use a variety of techniques and tips that I’ve picked up along the way to keep that pressure just right….just barely under control…never too high.
And then every now and then, I turn my back on that dial just a moment to long and there is an explosion.
Tears…huge I-can’t-breathe-I’m-crying-so-hard tears.
Failure is crushing me.
Fear is suffocating me.
But overnight the pressure is released. And after it has all escaped and I’m left empty and nearly lifeless in my bed, I somehow muster the strength to pull myself upright and start again. And from the moment I stand up, the pressure once again begins to build.
And this is the cycle. The endless pressurizing, monitoring, measured releasing of steam, until I wait to long and it explodes once again. And so I can go on forever if I choose…a cyclical existence leading to a shell of a heart and a soul run ragged.
And the only moment of true clarity seems to come in the moments after the explosion…
In the moments when I’m still facedown in my wet pillow although the tears have stopped.
In the moments when my breathing finally starts to return, slow and life-giving.
In those moments, I know that even on the good days the pressure was there, I just couldn’t see it.
And how, I wonder, do I get off this cycle of pressurizing madness?
How do I release all that pressure without going through the painful explosion?
Is there somewhere that or someone who can receive the pressure of my aching soul and restore my life?
And my soul knows what my mind so often ignores…
…that “HE restores my soul”.
When the pressure starts that first moment that I stumble out of bed, I can instead drop to my knees and surrender to the One who holds my life in His hand.
When the day grows bright but my heart grows heavy, I can again drop to my knees and release that pressure onto the shoulders of the One who already bore that pressure for me.
When the day is half done and my list has yet to see one item completed, I can again drop to my knees and receive in me the strength of the One who bore the pain of the world to the cross.
When the day is closing before I am ready, leaving its pressures to add to the next day’s already heavy load, I can again drop to my knees and allow myself to be washed in the grace of a Savior who died for that very purpose.
And “He RESTORES my soul.”
And if I will allow Him, He will carry the crushing pressures of the day and restore life to my soul.
And “He restores MY SOUL”.
And each morning starts with that vital question looming in the pressures of my mind…will I choose to seek the help I so desperately need? Will I choose to surrender?
Will I choose to allow Him to restore my soul?