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Does it sometimes seem that your life is like a Pressure Cooker?

You know the kind your Grandmother or Mom used on top of the stove?   Do you remember the “hissing” noise it made as pressure increased while it was cooking your dinner?

Have you ever seen the result of one exploding?    Once, when I was in my early teens, it happened in our home…

What a mess…

All over the stove…

All over the walls and cabinets…

Even on the ceiling.

We scrubbed for hours cleaning up the icky mess!

According to Wikipedia,”Pressure is created initially by boiling a liquid such as water or broth inside the closed pressure cooker.  The trapped steam increases the internal pressure and temperature.  After use, the pressure is slowly released so that the vessel can be safely opened.”

Obviously, something went awry that day in our Tulsa kitchen.  The escape happened, but not as it should have.

Are there times when your “Internal Pressure” allows steam to escape too quickly?  All too often when that happens, we are left with a big icky mess to deal with.  Ugly actions or words that wound those we love.

We all know that life is filled with pressure.  Some pressure is good, some not so good.

Jesus even told us in John 16:33 that we would have tribulation, i.e. pressure, in this world.

Why are we so taken back when our world is shaken?  When relationships are fractured?  When our hopes and dreams are destroyed?  When someone we love isn’t healed?  When someone we love turns from the Lord?   When… (You fill in the blank).

In life there are many mountains that I circle.  I’m still in the wilderness, blinded by my situation, instead of at the top of the mountain and able to survey what is around me.  It is frustrating and internal pressure builds until the vessel (me!) explodes.

Flip Wilson might say that “the devil made me do it”; however, more than likely, it is my own selfishness.  When something doesn’t go my way or disappointment floods my mind and soul, I all too often react in negative ways.  My husband is usually the recipient of my self-pity and anger.  Normally he isn’t involved in whatever is disturbing to me, so there is absolutely nothing he can do to change the situation,  If it were in his power, he would gladly do it…you know, ‘happy wife, happy life’.

When I’m to the point of exploding, the real problem is between God and me. That is when I need a heart-to-heart with My Father.  He already knows how I feel.  My words or feelings expressed will not wound him as they do others.  I can “vent” to Him, just as the nozzle on top of the pressure cooker vents the internal steam so the pot will not explode while cooking.

God doesn’t get angry with me for having irrational, legitimate, or misplaced feelings and fears.  He, who created me and knows me intimately, wants to teach me how to release the things in my life that are hurtful and keep me in the wilderness.

He is always ready to take me through the process of release and restoration.  Sometimes it may be as simple as expressing a few words; other times the venting of my emotions takes longer.  However, when sanity has returned and my heart is pliable, I often go to Psalms where I find words of love and restoration for my broken heart.

From one of my favorite Psalms, 119, in The Message:

“I’m feeling terrible – I couldn’t feel worse! Get me on my feet again.  You promised, remember?…My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word…God, don’t let me down!  I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how…Let your love, God, shape my life…Remember what you said to me, your servant – I hang on to these words for dear life!…I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised…Train me in common sense…train me in your goodness…your testing has taught me what’s true and right…I’m waiting for your word of hope…how long must I wait for your comfort?…Save me! I’m all yours…Even though troubles come down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight.  The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to the fullest.”

These sometimes gut wrenching words always draw me in to the loving arms of my Savior where I’m reminded:

“My troubles turned out all for the best – they forced me to learn from your textbook.”

  Ps. 119:71 The Message

Father, You love us too much to leave us in turmoil in our pressure cooker lives in the midst of our pressure cooker world.   In You alone we can find peace, forgiveness, strength, endurance, hope, mercy and grace.  Thank you, Lord, thank you!  Amen.