True story: I own stretchy jeans that gave up the fight long ago. One good stretch from sitting down to standing is all it takes for the fit to lose its form. Who knew they could only withstand so much pressure?
I won’t ask you to comment on whether you have the same issue. I’ll take one for the team.
But do you ever feel like God is stretching you beyond your capacity to recover?
Good news! God does not purpose to render us unfit for life in Him. However, God does promise to stretch His people until we are transformed for service in Christ.
His Word tells us that trials are tests that He allows so we will develop endurance for living without lack:
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 James 1:2-4
Discovering that nugget of truth did not spark joy in my soul; it put a hole in my happiness. I feel sure I asked God to help me understand how joy lines up with stress-filled circumstances. And the process of stretching my faith in Him began.
He used my relationships, my finances, my health, and my emotions as tools for transforming me from self-reliance into fulling relying on Him in every circumstance.
It’s been well over 25 years since God started stretching me, and He continues to this day. During a recent season of testing, He taught me the value of yielding to His stretch in a pretty cool way.
Have you ever zzz-zipped a perfectly straight piece of ribbon over the edge of a scissor blade to produce a curl? I have wowed many a child with my ribbon-curling expertise. Watching a child’s face morph from mild interest to wide-eyed wonder always makes me smile.
Check this out: Turns out that pulling the ribbon over a scissor blade permanently stretches out the outside of the ribbon while leaving the inside unchanged. The point where the ribbon changes is called its yield. And when the ribbon yields, you end up with a springy curl.
In the world of creating happy ribbon spirals, things can go wrong. If the wrong pressure is applied or the pull is too fast or too strong, the ribbon can fray or snap.
But in God’s hands, the perfect stretch for those He loves is always achieved—always.
He knows the exact amount of pressure at which we will come to the end of ourselves and yield in faith to Him. He purposes to stretch our faith until we are transformed from the inside out, a transformation that cannot be denied.
Are you feeling like those jeans I mentioned? Stretched so thin you are ready to give up?
May I encourage you by sharing one sweet truth?
If you are a child of God through faith in Christ and you find yourself in a season of trial, He knows you better than you know yourself.
Your Father purposes to help you grow confident through your faith in Him, His Word, and His love for you. And do you know what you will do with all that resiliency?
You will stand amazed at what His perfect stretch achieves, and you will encourage others with the truth of His Word.
Through the power of God’s transforming work, I offer you:
I don’t look forward to being stretched through trials. But I have learned to go through knowing the end result is a better me for God and for those who know me.
Undefinable God-birthed awe at the work of His hands…in me!
Things that used to snap my spirit into a spiral of despair no longer distract my faith.
I would be of little service to anyone if not for the continual process of God’s perfect stretch. There really is no other way.
There is no sweeter surrender than that of yielding to God’s love and discovering the gift of His strength infusing my weakness.
God’s perfect stretch ensures that we become fit—able to endure—so that we can serve those who have yet to know the reason—and the result—of God’s perfect stretch.
I can’t leave you without sharing this truth about me. I used to read words like this and think, “God did that for her, but He sure ain’t doing it for me.”
Friend, I was wrong. He stretched me with mercy and grace until I yielded and accepted the truth. And that is why I share these words with you.
Trust Him. Yield to Him. Receive His perfect stretch, and glory in the work of His hands…in you.
in the Quiver