The first definition: “the state of being stretched tight” and the second: “mental or emotional strain”.
Last week during the sermon, we discussed this idea of tension. I talked about the idea that we must live with this tension of God as our Father and God as our Judge. Today, I want to go a bit deeper into why tension is such a good thing. To begin, we must abandon the idea that tension is a bad thing. In many ways, tension is a necessary part of life for every functioning thing in this world.
There was a science experiment that build a giant biodome in order to see how plants would grow when the weather could be controlled completely. What they found was that many of plants, though given proper light, food, and rain grew up to be weak. Even more so, trees would only grow so tall before they would fall over. The scientists could not figure out why this was taking place.
The trees were lacking one critical component for growth; tension.
Everything was perfect within the biodome, including the fact that they didn’t have any excess wind. The scientists soon discovered that strain that wind placed on trees caused them to grow roots that went wider and deeper, thus preventing them from falling over. Tension is necessary!
We also need tension within our lives. Before Amy and I began dating (but were interested in each other) we attended a couples training small group hosted by our college. We figured that it would provide some healthy insight if/when we decided to start dating. During that time, one of the key points that we learned was that healthy relationships require disagreement. Yet usually people see disagreement and arguing as a strain on a relationship that should be avoided. In reality, a relationship that never has issues (or one that has too much) is not healthy.
Relationships, like trees, need tension to grow deeper.
After seven years of marriage, I can attest to the fact that the tension from disagreements has certainly helped Amy and I grow deeper and become a more loving and caring husband and wife. Tension extends beyond just intimate relationships though.
We must have tension within our lives spiritually. If we go throughout our lives and never feel stressed or at odds with the Bible and the lessons from Jesus, then we do not have a healthy relationship.
We cannot always be at odds with God’s word either.
There is a tension that we must find within our Christian journey. There is a certain reality that we will not always have the answers to life’s questions. I had a person call me just this week and tell me they were dying from cancer and they asked me why. There is no answer to that! Even as a pastor, THERE IS NO ANSWER TO THAT! But I am okay with that tension because it forces me to dig deeper. It causes me to question things I just assume. It makes me look for God even more.
Do not fear tension; embrace it.
So what is causing tension within your life right now? A certain pandemic causing issues? Money, relationships, children, laundry, work, God? Embrace the tension that you are feeling and allow it to help you grow deeper. One of the best things about God is that he desires to use our problems to help us grow. We have no reason to fear the tension that happens within this life. It is there so that we might become strong in Christ.