Finding Value in Times of Pressure

It’s hard to describe exactly what’s going on these days. Have you been able to put into words the way the shelter-in-place is affecting you? All these terrible news reports happening not on the other side of the world, but in the city where your sister lives, in your own state, possibly in your own house?

I’ve not quite found the words. But I think we can all relate to this one:


There’s a pressing-in, a pressing-on, a pressing-down that’s happening. Even in the freedom of a calendar swiped clean, the tension in the air and projections of what might lie ahead create pressure. This can seem like a breeding ground for anxiety and detriment. If you feel the pressure, let me help you re-frame it.

My daughter is the one who helped me see pressure as a good thing. She hopped out of the van one preschool morning, looked down at the ground, and exclaimed in wonder as she took my hand, “Momma, did you know diamonds grow under the ground in rocks??? Isn’t that amazing?”

It IS amazing, I replied.

Inspired by her five-year-old awe, I sat in the car after drop-off and wrote this:

The Promise of Pressure

I wonder

what precious gems

You are forming

Right now, deep down –

treasures for me to unearth

many years from now

That would not be formed

had it been

for the heat and pressure

of today.


It makes me dig deeper,

Look more closely

to find the deposits

of pressures past

come to maturity.


I see a glimmer of uncut stone

I reach for it

Wonder at it

Give thanks for the fruit

of former hardships

Begin to polish and shine

what you had in mind

all along.


For You were faithful then

You are faithful now

and always

to make it beautiful.


So. Pressure.

This pressure you feel: what character trait might it be forming in you? Perhaps God knows what you will need in two or five or ten years, and this season will help strengthen you for the days to come?

What raw minerals has God deposited in you that will one day be beautiful? Can you wait? Might He have grace to give you in the waiting?

And what do you notice being squeezed to the surface right now? What is pressing-up? Is there anything with a glimmer, anything that’s surprised you? Perhaps these inner treasures needed a final shove to come to the surface, and now is the time. Or if a darker matter has been exposed, maybe it’s a good thing to become aware of it and begin the necessary, difficult work of removing and redeeming what has caused you harm.

God is always doing something. He is always working out hard things for our good. May you have eyes to see the treasures placed within you when you were skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Look for those unformed substances eyes have not seen… until now.

Pressure is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lastly, I just want to say, take heart – we’re going to make it through!






Photo by Odysseas Chloridis on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Finding Value in Times of Pressure

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