I Googled, “How do you become a Navy Seal”. One of the first returns was funny to me. Wikihow said, “Visit your local Navy recruiter, rock the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, get your Navy contract, pass the Seal Physical Screening Test, get your Navy Seal contract.” Seems easy enough except passing the Navy Seal Physical Screening Test is one of the most physically and mentally tough tests on the planet. It’s five and a half days of hell week where You get less than four hours sleep, run more than 200 miles, do calisthenics in the freezing rain, fight ocean currents and physical training more than 20 hours a day. Over 75% of people ring the bell and quit.
I bring that up because there are people who go into that test without preparing or training themselves mentally or physically. I think the same could be said of many of us when it comes to preparing for pressure in life. No one is exempt from it, but so many of us are shocked when it hits and then keeps coming. We must have a firm foundation in God’s Word, a solid relationship with Him through prayer and be surrounded by His people if we’re going to survive the high pressure times of life.
Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small” (NLT). The good news is that we don’t have to fight these pressures in our own strength. Ephesians 6:10 says, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” He then encourages us to put on the Armor of God to prepare for battle and pressure. He knew that you and I were going to go through some tough battles where we would want to give up. If we’re properly prepared with our helmet of salvation, shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth of God’s Word, our shoes of peace and the sword of the Spirit, we can withstand whatever comes against us.
Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash
If you’ve ever had a baby who slept in a different room than you, you’ve probably used a monitor of some kind. My son is four and we still use one with him. If something happens in the night, he can call out to us and we will head to His room to help him. Even though he can’t see us, he knows that we are close enough to hear him. He has faith that when he needs something, if he calls out to us, we will come meet that need. It’s not so different for us as believers. Our Heavenly Father monitors us and hears us when we call out for help.
Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth. (AMP)” There are times in life when we can’t see God or feel his presence. We may be walking through one of the darkest times of our life, but God has not abandoned us just because we can’t see Him. He is there watching over us, listening to our hearts as we make our way. Often, we try to do it on our own. We want to prove we are strong enough to handle anything, but we don’t have to.
God is waiting for us to call out to Him in our time of need. In Matthew 14, after Jesus fed 5,000 with the five loaves and two fish, Jesus sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee by themselves. Verse 24 says, “Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land. (NLT” It was about three o’clock in the morning. It was pitch black and they found themselves in a storm scared to death. You’ve got to know they cried out to God for help in their time of need. They couldn’t see Jesus because of the rain and darkness, but He never lost sight of them.
Verse 25 says that Jesus came walking toward them on the water. Then He spoke the words that He speaks to you and I today, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here! (NLT)” Just like when my son calls out in the night and I call back to him, so Jesus does with us. His voice reassures us we are going to be ok even if we can’t see Him. We can take courage because He will never leave you or forsake you. He won’t let you face the unknown alone. He is near to those who call on Him.
I’m not sure what you will face today or have been facing, but I do know that you are not alone. In your darkness, in your storm of the unknown, Jesus is walking on water calling out to you, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage. I am here.” He sees you even when you can’t see Him. He is working for your good through all of turmoil, through all of the uncertainties and problems. His voice is louder than the storm you’re in. His spirit can give you peace no matter what you’re up against. All you have to do is call out to Him and know that He is near. He won’t let you face this alone.