BREAKING or STRETCHING?
I’ve heard it said so many times.
I’ve even said it myself:
“EVERYONE HAS THEIR BREAKING POINT.”
It has become a widely accepted phrase, expression, and even confession.
We pronounce it over ourselves and others with a foundational belief in the expiration of human strength, patience, and ability to withstand hardship or lingering difficulties. We have adopted the belief that no matter how strong, reliable, or well-celebrated the individual, and their protruding abilities to be a sound person, somewhere, deep down inside, rests a breaking point.
Because doesn’t EVERYBODY have their limit?
It's different for everybody right?
The limit consists of the moment where all strength, poise, commitment, and character is worn down by consistent hardship, difficult people, waning patience, and pain, leaving an exposed, and very fragile layer, that if pressed upon, finally BREAKS.
And when it breaks……..A consistent personality, character, or quality that once existed, now transforms into the opposite, resulting in varying expressions synonymous with what BREAKING means to us.
We finally cuss “them” out,
Quit our job,
Leave our spouse,
Cut people off,
Drop our commitments,
and STOP CARING.
And because of our conviction and belief in the idea of a “breaking point”, we sum it up to human nature. Which creates the opportunity to excuse it as a weakness, maybe even shameful, and “too bad”, but NORMAL.
And we tell ourselves and others through recitation:
“HE/SHE FINALLY REACHED THEIR BREAKING POINT.”
But after years of process, difficulty, hardship, and testing, I see things differently.
I used to believe in my own fragility.
I wore it like a badge.
I’d take it into to prayer with me, and remind God about my state of mind, how weak I was, and how much I needed him to intervene to prevent me from reaching the point of breaking.
I'd threaten to be broken. I'd tell God that I already was, or was getting ready to. Every day was the day that it was going to happen. It was a ripe, and ready occasion.
They were perfectly crafted prayers. I’d lay on the carpet in the fetal position, weeping, and waiting. I figured the more broken that I was, God would respond. I believed that the more that I needed God to supplement my voids, the quicker, and faster he’d show up and visit me. I showed no signs of strength, because I did not believe that I had any, or that it was expected.
Until one day…..
As I went into prayer, crying about one disaster after another, God spoke to me very clear. His tone was kind, and joyful. I literally heard a tickle in his voice. He responded to my tirade of complaints and anguish with the comment:
“YOU ARE SO RESILIENT!”
He was complimenting me.
And he spoke it in the way that you speak when you’re taking in an admirable quality in an individual.
I stopped in my tracks shocked.
First of all....I wasn't even expecting God to speak to me.
Second of all, I was not expecting to hear him.
And third of all, I was not expecting him to say THAT!
When the words settled in……I GOT HEATED.
I got up off of my knees, walked out of the room, and stood in a pool of anger.
I DID NOT WANT TO BE RESILIENT.
This was not a compliment to me.
I did not want to have a need to be resilient. If God was doing his job, there would be no occasions for me to be resilient. I could finally be happy, live life in peace, coast, rest, CHILL.
What do you mean I’m resilient? That was the most unexpected, off-base response I’d ever heard. He never even addressed ANY of the complaints/requests I made....not a one.
But then I realized something. (Not right then....but with time.)
God was teaching me endurance. He was teaching me how to be stable, unmoved, and consistent. He was celebrating what he was establishing. At the time, I was too immature to realize it.
Now, with many more victories under my belt, I see his response as it was meant to be received.
What I used to refer to as a “BREAKING POINT”, I now refer to as “BEING STRETCHED”.
There were so many times that I thought that I would break. I thought that I would give up. I literally said to myself: “I don’t have anything left.”
But when I clinched my teeth, closed my eyes, and braced myself for the fall that I thought would break me, I felt my spirit man stretching to sustain me, to change me, and elevate me.
Every opportunity to break, God was using to stretch.
After all, isn’t that how we grow? Our bodies literally stretch.
He was framing me in. He was growing me. He was moving my borders and boundaries. He was developing me. He was opening my eyes and ears. He was helping me.
He was STRETCHING ME.
But I had to decide if it would be a moment to BREAK or to STRETCH.
God gave the opportunity. But I had to make the choice.
I chose the perspective. I chose the occasion. I chose the outcome. I chose not to break. I chose to be stretched.
And with every right choice, I did just that. I grew. I changed. I became more.
I challenge you today.
Are you looking to be broken or stretched?
What is your expectation? What lens are you peering through?
God is granting you a choice.
STRETCH don't BREAK.
There is a plan that requires the right choice.