Stretching Moments

*reader warning this is a crappy story* 

Your daughter is whining. It will be magical the day she can actually tell you it’s because of the poop. 

Mistakenly you think this is the normal I’m hungry or the I want out of my crib whine. You take your time. Too much time. 

Then as you slowly approach your daughters room you get that parent spider sense. The one that tells you there is a very big disturbance in the force. 

Then the smell hits. There was a time when Regina was pregnant with our son and her nose was super sensitive. It was to the point she couldn’t change Teagans diapers because she would start dry heaving. As the husband who became the official diaper changer, I had my doubts. It was a little too convenient. But somehow staring at my daughter in the crib wearing no pants or diaper, hands smeared brown and hair an utter mess, I feel that wanting to vomit is the appropriate response.

How can something so gag worthy come out of such a sweet little girl. I mean I didn’t even know my wife could pass gas until after we got married. Girls are made from sugar and spice, right?

I believe poop has to be a result of the fall of man. I just can’t imagine Adam or Eve popping a squat in the garden. Or if they did it was this pleasant non sticky potpourri smelling blessing. Maybe rainbow colored and with pleasant musical notes radiating out of it. Like you could have given it as a gift and the receipient would have been pleased.

But this stuff in my daughters crib is definitely evil. This is just a taste of parenthood. You get thrown up on, get hit, stolen from, verbally abused and disrespected. This is stretching. At work it looks different. It could be the unreasonable boss or customer. It could be unrealistic demands. The mandatory overtime during peak hours. In marriage it’s the misunderstandings and the disappointments. Maybe financially things are tight. These are the stretching moments. 

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

http://bible.com/100/jas.1.2-4.NASB

We had a guest speaker a few weeks ago at church. His name is Brad McClendon. He talked about Jesus being tested in the wilderness. He pointed out the devil comes, not during good times, but during the stretching. Why? Because God is doing something. There is a stretching in the heavenly realm. The devil comes because he knows we are on the verge of a breakthrough. How do we enlarge a tent? We stretch it out. God wants to give us more. He is making us more. But the avenue to do that is to make us overcomers. A victor has to have something to have victory over. This trial is God opening a path for you to get futher blessings. Brad said,”You get to a place of getting addicted to the stretching because you know God is about to do something great.” Those overwhelming circumstances are his to overcome, but we should be pressing into him. It’s ok that these things are bigger than us. It’s because they aren’t bigger than God and it will leave you literally a better person. However, if you try and do it in your own talent or strength…your trial will be prolonged or you will have to go through the situation again. There isn’t any stretching involved in situations you are perfectly able to overcome on your own.

Here is how you should respond to the stretching. 1. Smile…because you are on the verge of increase. Remember this is the pathway for our blessing. This mindset changes the power your situation has over you 2. Press into God. Rejoice in the trial. Declare his victory. Submit the issue to him. 3. Inquire of the Lord’s direction. Sometimes the answer is being still…sometimes there is action required. 4. Resist the fear of the situation. Fear depletes faith. And fear doesn’t have to be true to have power over you. In fact, it’s power grows as you meditate on the worst possible outcome instead of looking to God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have come to earth to be united with your bride. You have given us your beautiful name to give us victory on this earth. May you take our trials and make us overcomers.May you allow us to react with literal Joy in our situation knowing soon we will see your deliverance and make us better in the process. May your Joy prevent fear from having any power over our situation. Thank you for your tremendous love. In Jesus name we pray Amen

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