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Listen while you read: "Take My Life And Let It Be"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 143:4 – I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear. (NLT)
It's amazing how one lump of putty can mimic life.
Though I can't imagine many kids being satisfied with it now, Silly Putty™ provided hours of entertainment when I was a child. Unlike Play-Doh™, which would turn hard and crumble if left uncovered, Silly Putty maintained its elasticity.
Sunday was the most exciting day for using Silly Putty. Comics had their very own section and were printed in colour. Pulling the Silly Putty until it was stretched thin and then pressing it on a comic strip resulted in a colour picture on the wad of putty.
More than forty years later, I've discovered that Silly Putty mimics life. Life episodes have caused me to say or think what the psalmist said: "I am losing all hope." I've been pulled and contorted into all types of shapes and sizes by stressful circumstances.
STRESS means Struggle, Tension, Restlessness, Expectations, Stretching, and Satisfaction. When I'm stressed, I Struggle — perhaps with which decision to make. Sometimes, wrong and right are clear-cut, but at other times, they aren't.
Stressful situations have a way of unloading Tension. I find myself wound up like a top that needs someone to let it unwind.
Stress almost always has an inherent Restlessness about it, because I need to decide or change my mind, or because I'm thrown into uncontrollable circumstances.
Expectations can allow stress in — unrealistic expectations of myself, but often those of others that I must endure.
Stretching is a normal part of stress. If I weren't being stretched — willingly or unwillingly — I wouldn't feel the stress.
If I respond to all the previous characteristics positively, I'll experience Satisfaction. Stress isn't inherently negative. The way that I respond determines the outcome. Stress can teach me new ways to handle circumstances, and it can prepare me to handle life — but only if I approach stressful situations from a godly viewpoint.
The psalmist took his stress to God. Letting God take control and teach us the proper way to respond are the only ways to come out ahead in stressful circumstances. Otherwise, we'll find ourselves trying to handle stress in sinful ways, which will only intensify our stress level and set us up for further complications.
Are we handling stress like Play-Doh or Silly Putty?
Prayer: Father, when times of stress stretch us, stretch us toward Yourself. Amen.
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Memorable, Martin. Thank you.
I like your analogy, Martin. Thank you!
Absolutely right on, Martin. Thank you for your message.
Very helpful comparison, Martin, as well as the expansion of the word STRESS.
Thank you. I’ve forwarded to my kids. They did (and still do!) enjoy silly putty. Good one.
What a creative devotional and so true. I will never look at Silly Putty the same way again. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Martin, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.
I remember Silly Putty. What a great illustration and message. I appreciate your insights.
I’m definitely like play-doh. Thanks so much for these helpful thoughts.
Thank you always for your devotionals.
Wisdom indeed! Thanks, Martin, these times are bringing stresses most have never experienced before.
Bless you for this timely devotional.
Thank you, Martin. I have found myself stressed off and on since Covid started — not only related to Covid but other things along the way also.
It’s a good reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Many thanks Martin for your very meaningful devotional this morning. Yes, there sure are times that we let stress overtake us and forget that we need to take a deep breath and turn our thoughts and prayers to our loving Saviour. It is amazing the calm that can be felt when we put our trust in Him. I know the results sometime don’t come as quickly as we like and that’s when we must remind ourselves to have faith. I loved your reflection and reference on “silly putty”. We sure can be like it at times! Blessings for these writings you do.
Good morning, Martin,
Well I have never seen ‘Stress” broken down into six different stages and then explained so fully in words. Great message and great solution.
I can vouch that Silly Putty stays sticky because one of my brothers left his on my bed and it stuck to my wool skirt which we could not totally get it out of the fibers. Good memories of lots of experiences which happen with five boys and one girl.
Thank you for encouraging us to look out how we are handling stress and the importance of including God in our decisions. Blessings.
Silly Putty was from a much less stressful time. I often feel sorry that my grandkids don’t have the same opportunities to simply be happy with many of the simple pleasures we enjoyed. Their lives are so complicated by technology at such a young age that l find it rather mind boggling. Is it any wonder that suicide is at an alarming rate among the younger generation. They just get so stretched beyond their endurance in so many ways. And most of them do not know or have a relationship with the One who is able amidst it all to help them find peace, comfort, and rest, amidst a world of ever-increasing chaos. A world which l know is sure stretching me, whether l like it or not.
Many of us feel stretched thin these days!
I remember using Silly Putty on the comics too!