I was recently reading from a book called, “The Upward Reach,” by Sterling W Sill. He shared a life lesson we can learn from the atmospheric pressure on our planet. At sea level there is 15 pounds of pressure on every square inch, or 2160 pounds on every foot of surface. Every day of our lives we live with thousands of pounds of pressure on us, but we feel no discomfort because there is a corresponding internal pressure in the lungs, the blood vessels, and in the tissues of the body. He describes how I airplane moving through the sky has to maintain internal pressure equal to the external pressure. If a plane didn’t have sufficient internal pressure, it would collapse in on itself. If the airplane’s internal pressure were greater than the external pressure then it would explode.
As we go through life we face challenges that create external pressure on us. As small children we generally have very little extra pressure. We spend our time playing unaware of the responsibilities of life. As we grow older we take on more responsibilities which creates more external pressure, but we develop on the inside to match what we need to do on the outside. We get an education and skills necessary to deal with our responsibilities, hopefully. Difficulties arise when we haven’t developed the internal strength, or skills, to deal with the external pressures around us. If we don’t create sufficient internal pressure (motivation) to work through our problems, to learn new skills, to learn from mistakes, to move through adversity, then the external pressure of our challenges can crush us as we collapse in ourselves to despair and failure.
What ever your challenge is, if it seems to be overpowering you, there’s something you can do to build up internal pressure that can match this external pressure, allowing you to move forward through life. God doesn’t put challenges in our life that are greater than us. He does allow challenges that require us to increase our capacity in order to deal with them. He doesn’t want us to stay the same, he wants us to stretch, to increase in our capacity. So he allows problems to arise that create an uncomfortable external pressure, which will hopefully motivate us to increase our internal capacity to match the challenge. In this process we are not alone. We can receive support from those around us, as well as be comforted knowing there’s a loving God who wants to help us increase that internal capacity. He sees what we can become, and is blessing us with the perfect adversity help us reach our potential!