Max Capacity

Max Capacity

How are you?

Today, I want to talk to you about stress.

It is something that we are all currently dealing with in some shape, figure, or form, at this very moment.

Most of us equate stress to pressure, pressure, or tension exerted on our physical and emotional beings. In science, it is often described as something internal, that when increased, can deteriorate the integrity of the vessel that was holding it.

I would like to believe that a lot of us think of stress in that way. We think of stress as something internal and devastating.

We say things like, “I’m under so much stress that I’m going to explode,” or “this is the last straw.”

But in the natural, there are many more types of stress.

To be specific, there are three types of stressors that engineer’s reference when it comes to structures.

The first type of stress is 1) tensile stress. This type is stretching stress. This tension is felt in every section of the rope and both directions.

Then there is 2) shearing stress. This type of stress separates or crushes structures. Shearing stress can happen between two objects or within the same object.

Lastly, there is 3) compressive stress. Compressive stress is when pressure is applied to a structure from the outside, pushing in—squeezing, squashing, or compacting.

Have you ever wondered why skyscrapers do not fall over? Why bridges do not sink into the bodies of water that they cross, or why bicycles come in different sizes and shapes and for different weights? And why are some buildings made of wood and then others are made of steel, glass, and brick?  It is because engineers design structures to withstand different types of stress. They consider the best materials and design approaches for buildings and machines by calculating how much and what kind of pressures each material can withstand without failure.

Sis, this is the thing – we need to start doing the same thing in our lives. In the days that we are living in and the ones that we must prepare for ahead, we need to determine what our capacity is.

Tensile Stress

If you are dealing with tensile stress, a stress that is causing you to stretch beyond your circumstances and abilities, then you must attack it with a counteraction.  It would be best if you counter the stress with a reinforcing action that allows you to survive the strain.   Reinforcement begins by reading more, resting, and connecting with other people.

The cool thing about tensile stress is that it can be useful. This stress can be stretching you for greater capacity. Only it NEVER feels good.

It is like stretching at the gym; as you continue to do it, it gets more manageable, and you get stronger.  And WHY do you get stronger? Because you are consistently challenging your body, tearing it down, only to build it back up.

Shearing Stress

The next type of stress is shearing stress, and we all experience this type of stress at some point in our life.  Shearing stress is a stressor that causes separation in our lives. It is the reason that many relationships, marriages, work dynamics, and/or organizations start to move in two different directions at the exact same time. If the force present in your life is a shearing stressor, you need to respond by presenting a glue or a binder.

If or when you find yourself in a rift with a person or organization, you must decide to do things that allow you to reach out and reconnect with them. Because the shearing stress separates you, you have to focus on reconnection and reestablishment.

Compressive Stress

And then there is compressive stress.

Compressive stress is all about the load. When engineers design bridges and structures, they design them to withstand particular loads. I am sure you have seen signs when entering a bridge that reads “NO VEHICLES OVER 5 TONS” or “THE WEIGHT LIMIT IS….” or perhaps you have just talked to your peer group about the load merely being yourself. Everything in the world has a max capacity; that includes me, you, and the bridges, and elevators, too! This why Jesus tells us in His Word, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” You are not designed to carry a constant heavy load.

The scripture referenced above ends with Jesus saying, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Jesus’ yoke is something that He is asking us to take. It is His way of asking us to come into agreement with His will for our lives. It is not about what others are asking of you. It is not about what you are asking of yourself. His yoke is simply limited to His plans and purposes. Compressive stress comes only from when we add more to our load than God is asking of us. Take the time, to take an honest inventory of your life and ask yourself, “Is Jesus asking me to do this?”, “Does this line up with His purpose for my life?” The benchmark isn’t whether something is important (because everything is IMPORTANT! Am I right?), but whether it is what Jesus is asking of you.

Women of Judah, the stress is here. We cannot hide from it!  So, maybe, you’re being stretched in this season, perhaps, things are falling apart for you relationally or possibly, it may physically feel like you have the weight on the world on your shoulders. Regardless of your stressors, I would like you to take a moment, right here and right now. Close your eyes, and give yourself the grace and space to find your footing.

Do not rush the process, but don’t give up – either.

We are sisters, and we are in it together.

You keep your head up, love with your whole heart, and choose joy today.

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