It's weird how one word will come to mind and then I envision an entire day's worth of activity surrounding that word. Possibly due to my vivid imagination, but possibly spirit-led as well!
Typically, "stretched" is associated with negative connotation. People may refer to this as being "spread thin", exhausted, at their wit's end, whatever you call it, it doesn't always feel good at the time. But as exhausted and spread thin as I feel through all of this, that's not the image that came to mind. I saw an athlete stretching before (and after) a physically intensive feat. Stretching doesn't always feel great, it requires work, discipline, and can even feel uncomfortable depending on the stretch, but it's a good hurt! It's done to prevent injury and prepare body and mind for something hard. God tends to "stretch" us in this way to prepare and sharpen our faith for this broken life we live.
I am being stretched because we have been told that we may not be getting the twins that this adoption was all about (at least that's what we thought!). Everything is up in the air and I can't stand the uncertainty or the waiting. God is stretching my faith like never before. The doubts, the bitterness I feel towards the birth father, the anger and frustration, the sadness, the loss, the confusion (God you've led us this far and it feels you're dropping the ball on us), the stress of moving so many times and then again due to a bad plumbing issue. Yet I can't help but feel grateful despite all this for God's provision (after all, plumbing issues are a first world problem). I can't help but run to God for help when I am so out of control. I'm helpless.
Life certainly isn't always sad and depressing, but it is broken and we are promised as Christians life will be hard. It's a tough race we run and God wants to stretch us for the marathon we all participate in or we will fail. I can only imagine crossing that finish line and feeling the reward of the stretches that were made to allow me the strength and agility to run well. To endure (James 1:2-3). God I don't know what You're doing, but you care more about my running the race well and developing my soul. I can only trust the stretching that is happening now will make me feel better afterwards. Thank you for loving me well and pushing me to be the man you called me to be.