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Life Lessons from a Rubber Band

Life threw me for a loop this week, y'all. One minute I'm rolling along, feeling reasonably in-control of my routine, and the next I'm buying a car, job-hunting, preparing for my driver's test, and frantically trying to ready my latest manuscript for this year's #PitMad event—just to name a few of the surprises that, of course, had to fall within the same seven days out of 365. Naturally.

At various points in this week, I felt absolutely out of control. Even now, I'm not too far from that feeling—if it weren't for a steady flow of sustaining peace from God, I would probably be a puddle on the floor. But in hindsight (and, I suppose, mid-sight) even that is a blessing. God is stretching me. Testing my limits to expand them.

Maybe He's doing the same with you.

Have you ever bought a brand new package of rubber bands? Those all-purpose wonders have infinite possibilities, but they don't start out that way. In fact, most rubber bands start out stiff, unyielding, and way too small for the functions we'd have them serve. At least, until we put them to the test—stretch them to perform a task that seems beyond their limits, only to discover that their limits stretch, too, leaving them capable of far more than they were before.

Humans operate the same way, believe it or not. When we start out, our capacity to function is small; we can handle only so much before we feel over-extended and cry out to God to rescue us from discomfort or stress. But stress keeps coming, and every time we endure it, every time God stretches us past our self-proclaimed limits, our capacity for trials stretches with us. We become more flexible, more resistant to fear; we learn that God equips us to handle any task He sends our way, no matter how stretched we may feel. The tasks that once seemed insurmountable begin to look smaller and smaller as we grow to meet the new challenges arising before us.

In other words, God stretches us to empower us. Without feeling out of control and pushed beyond our limits sometimes, our capacity to endure stress will never grow. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be stuck at a university-level stress capacity for the rest of my life. If this week is God's way of preparing me for the next level, I'll take it in faith that He'll never push me further than I can go with His help.

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