Stretch Armstrong, was a toy many children played with when I was a child. The toy was made of flexible rubber that could be stretched on demand. You could pull his arms or legs and they would slowly double in length. After Stretch sat for a while, he would slowly mold back into his original shape. It was fascinating to see. I find 2020 to be likened to Stretch Armstrong. We have all been unexpectedly stretched.
It’s as if we are the toy and the world events are the child having fun stretching us at its leisure. First the virus, the death, the economy tanks and then another event stretches your arms as far as you think they can go, and then, at the same time, something else stretches your legs. This back and forth stretching game can be exhausting and overwhelming to say the least.
I began to ponder just how have these events caused me to stretch? Immediately, I knew the answer, faith. For me, faith has continually been that unexpected challenge that pulled me to lengths I thought were impossible. Before this year I thought I was a woman of faith. I had my occasional battle with it but overall I would believe God for just about anything. Then 2020 exposed otherwise.
Personally, this year has continuously demanded more, but this time more was met with a new expectation. This more was like a bad habit uninvitedly showing up at my door at the most inopportune times with absolutely no method or way for me to manipulate or lie to myself. This more uncovered every weak place of faith found in me. I don’t know what it is about human nature but we somehow have a problem admitting when there is a chink in our armour. The very thing that is being uncovered we somehow deny. We immediately turn around and look through life, do a quick scan, and find a place where we felt success in that area and equate it to the now. I don’t know about you but it gets me in trouble every time.
In those moments, wherever He’s working becomes like a highly visible construction area. All signs point to this. Everywhere I go, I am being challenged in this area and all messages point to the theme. I could be at, what I perceived as my most successful junctures believing I had climbed Mount Everest and the same message would show up at the top of the mountain. “You gotta have faith!” ” You’ve already climbed this mountain and now it’s time for another”. It was a rollercoaster ride of self-exposure.
So here I am at what I believe to be the end of the lessons, a girl can be hopeful. I look back and see I have mastered faith at the level of my life experience and wherever, whatever I am headed to requires a more resilient faith. We all desire to know our purpose, and please the Lord in the process. I truly believe to accomplish our goals we must continuously be called higher. Life is poured out in levels and seasons and each requires a unique layer of growth with one building upon the other. So the faith I had seven years ago was real but to experience enlargement, I must allow the Master to stretch my arms. The good thing about this expansion is everywhere you look everyone is experiencing the same thing at some level.
As we enter the close of what has been the most interesting year of our lives, I encourage you whether you are being stretched in your faith or patience to take some time, pull away from the distractions and allow God to show you the great work he’s been doing in you. Ask Him what He is preparing you for and how construction is going. Allow yourself to be placed under his microscope so the best wine possible can be produced, fully matured and ready for use.
Author: Petrina Milan