Living Under Pressure: Guest Post by Steve Douglass
Sometimes I am asked how I survive in the middle of the pressures of my job. My simple answer is always, “God.”
But the question remains, “How does that work?” Before starting, let me say that I don’t always handle pressure as well as I should. But I have learned a few lessons through the years.
These seem to be the main things that cause us to struggle with the pressures of daily life:
1. Load—We have more to do than time available.
2. Emotions—We “own” issues in a way that causes worry. As a result, we become emotionally drained.
3. Consequences—We fear bad things might happen if something is not completed.
I remember returning from a trip to Togo one week in December 2011. My speaking schedule there was full, not including preparation time for my talks. At the same time, the worldwide ministry faced a few financial uncertainties with possible significant consequences. While trying to determine with other leaders what to do, I got a call from Judy saying our son, Josh, had a chainsaw kick up and hit him in the forehead. I needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.
So I was faced with a potentially overwhelming load, emotions and consequences all at once. How can a person rise above all this? As I said earlier, “God.” Certainly, there are many practical things we can do to not feel pressure, like delegate or say “no.“ However, there is nothing more powerful we can do than improving our view of God and our walk with Him.
If we were to take a theological quiz on the following characteristics about God, no doubt each of us would get an “A.” But how well do we really apply these truths in our daily lives? There are three very important truths about God we must make a part of our daily lives:
• He is sovereign.
• He loves us.
• He knows our situation.
Think about it. What are we saying when we worry and fear? Basically, that one or more of the above are not true:
God can’t really handle this situation. Or maybe He has a mean streak causing Him to ignore my need and let me suffer. Or, with all that is going on in the world, He just hasn’t noticed I am in over my head with things to do.
Of course, we know God isn’t limited or unkind, so how do we fight the tendency to think and behave as if He is? A key relationship principle might be helpful here: The more you spend time with people, the more you understand them and see their heart. So it is with God. The more we are constant and personal in our relationship with Him, the more we will understand and trust Him.
In what ways, therefore, should we be more constant in our walk with God?
Connect—There is no substitute for consistent, frequent times with God. I’m not just talking about a morning devotional time. An hour should not go by without having some conversation with Him.
Cast—1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him….” Often we need to “cast” the same anxiety many times before it seems to disappear. So, continue bringing your anxieties to Him in prayer.
Claim—God makes so many promises in His Word—promises related to provision, solution, wisdom and peace. We need to claim them often.In summary, survival and victory in the middle of the pressures of daily life are critically dependent on two things: our high view of God and our constant walk with Him.
Please pray for me, and I will pray for you, that we apply these important truths all throughout the day.
What about you? What pressure are you experiencing? How do you handle it?
Steve Douglass is certainly one of my favorite people. I find him smart, funny, humble, godly, creative, hardworking, kind. He is so good at living, loving, leading, fixing, solving and serving. He’s a wonderful husband, father and granddad. And he lives out what he just wrote about. Oh yes, he went to MIT, HBS and leads CCCI.