The week before last was one of the saddest, most melancholic weeks I have had in a long time. It was one of those weeks where I cried until my eyes were as bloodshot as those of a seasoned drunkard and my eyelids were so puffy as though they had been deliberately inflated with some kind of noble gas. I cried until I am certain I heard my tearglands ask me to give them a break. I would like to bore and depress you with the deplorable reasons as to why my week played out so wrong but I would rather not, majorly because I am ashamed to admit that most of the reasons were simply the product of my overly active imagination.
So anyhow, amidst all the sadness and sorrow, I was reminded of a particular topic in Physics that I have had to study right from O’level to A’level and even while at university, I wasn’t spared. STRESS AND STRAIN. That is the topic.
In the simplest of terms, Stress consists all those forces that work to compress a material while Strain consists those that stretch the material. I am not sure if it’s just me but sometimes life does feel like this. There are times when it is as though you have been locked up in some kind of cage and as each second ticks by, the cage becomes smaller and smaller, threatening to crush the very breath out of you. And then there’s those moments when you are mercilessly stretched in all directions. Every sphere of your life, suddenly demands your attention and not in a positive sense because it feels like the universe connived with its elements to tear you apart. This is how I get through all these phases:
James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. [NLT]
James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. [MSG]
A material’s strength is determined based on how much compressing and stretching it can take before it finally breaks. Do not be just a strong material, be an extraordinary one: the kind that refuses to break no matter the amount of stress and strain imposed on it. Be that person that defies the odds; the kind that only becomes stronger when everyone would expect that you would break into a gazillion pieces. Life does get tough, and that, more often than not; but you’ve got to understand that you are made of even tougher stuff. You’ve got to understand that whoever is on your side is way stronger than those camped against you. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Mighty Warrior and Lion of Judah, the God that created heaven and earth, He is on your side!
So quit fretting and crying helplessly when stress and strain come at you from all directions. Rejoice instead because when they are done with you, you will be left much stronger and tougher than you thought you could ever be.