"Pressure makes diamonds."~George Patton
Yes, it is true. Pressure makes diamonds- when aided by a lot of time and heat. And I like the thought of being made into a diamond.
But pressure makes me something else: CRAZY.
Really, really crazy. And tired. And cranky. And a very, very good player of the Blame Game.
Because pressure is usually related to the people in our lives and their needs, and their requests, and their demands, and their, well, whatever.
And it is therefore easy to blame the PEOPLE rather than the problems.
This stuck out to me very strongly the other day as I read in Ephesians 6 about the armor of God. Now, this is a very familiar passage and I catch myself sometimes skimming over the familiar verses because, well, you know, I have read them before.
But as I read/skimmed the other day I had a new thought and understanding. (And this, by the way, is why I shouldn't skim- God's Word ALWAYS has something new to say!)
So here it is: Eph 6:11,12
Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens."
As I read this I realized, this is one of the Greatest Schemes of our enemy: to fool us into WHO and WHAT we think is the problem.
The people in our lives ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. Even when they have problems:
- not the critical parent
- not the unkind spouse
- not the rebellious child
- not the unreasonable boss
- not the angry neighbor
- not the grumpy store clerk
- not the selfish driver in the next lane
- not the lazy co-worker
- not the demanding family
- not even myself or my own bad habit or my own failings.
Every one of these things, these people, including ourselves, are flesh and blood, and our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood! But when we are busy blaming each other for our problems or identifying each other as the problem or seeing ourselves as the problem we are distracted FROM THE REAL PROBLEM.
So, nice try Satan, trying to divert me from the REAL battlefield. But I am on to you now! You are the problem. And sin is the problem. And all the other things listed in Eph. 6:12- they are the problems.
So maybe that pressure isn't so bad after all- since I now know it is not the people around me who are making me crazy.
Maybe this "becoming a diamond" thing isn't so bad either.