TENSION: productive or destructive?

22 tons of tension

Did you know that the rim of a grand piano must be built to withstand over 22 tons of tension?

This is necessary so that each string can be set at just the right pitch. Only with this enormous tension can rich, harmonious melodies cascade from its depths.

Trials and stresses in our lives can cause us much grief, but stress is necessary in order to produce quality. The best work is usually achieved when stress is added to the mix, but that is “good” stress. Certain kinds of stress are essential to bring out the best – as in the piano and in creative work.

None of us enjoys “bad” stress – stress that attacks and seeks to pull us down. Numerous things cause stress. I find emotional stress the hardest to endure, while some people are badly affected by financial stress, some by stress caused by wayward family members – and the list could go on and on.

As Christians,
whose life is surrendered to our loving heavenly Father,
we are not immune from stress.
On the contrary, we know we will endure tribulations,
but we also know that God is in control
and we can “glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations work patience” Romans 5:3-5.
I can look back on the biggest tribulations in my life
and be thankful for them,
because I can see that those were the times of my biggest spiritual growth.

Regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the fear,
Regardless of the pain we bear, regardless of the tear,
Our God is in control, performing as He should,
For He has promised in His Word to work things out for good.

But as a loving Father would, He sometimes lets us cry,
To cleanse the hurt out of our heart; to wash it from our eye.
Yet gently gathers He the tears, within His hands to stay,
Until He turns them into pearls, and gives them back one day.

Put my tears in Your bottle: are they not in Your book?
Psalm 56:8

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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11 Responses to TENSION: productive or destructive?

  1. pbus1 says:

    Hello Angela,

    When God brings me through trials and stressful times, it causes me to grow closer to the Lord, and my faith in Him, increases! Each trial causes me to go from glory to glory. When I find myself in a stressful situation, I can look back on the trials and tribulations the Lord has brought me through, and say most assuredly, if He did “that”, He can do “this.”

    God bless!



    • Amen! You and I both, Paulette. We can be so completely thankful for stressful times – or at least for the way the Lord uses them to draw us closer to Him, to cause us to grow and to bless us immeasurably.


  2. Rob Barkman says:


    A hearty AMEN to all that you said. It is so true that the stressful times in life bring us closer to our Lord. It makes it worth it all. Over the years, when in the middle of stressful times, I have learned to look back and remember how the Lord has blessed me during those past stresses. These remembrances really helps me get through the stresses I am current facing.

    May the Lord bless you this Easter and always.


    • Rob, the blessings of coming through a stressful time are such that when things are going too easily we almost wish for something to pull us up short. I know my biggest blessings, and biggest growth spurts came as a result of going through stressful times.


  3. Todd Beal says:

    Well said, Angela. Without something to overcome, or win against, we become lazy and indifferent. Just as our physical bones and muscles need to constantly work just to stay healthy, let alone grow, so also we need spiritual challenges for continual spiritual health and growth.


    • Hi Todd. I haven’t seen you here for a while, but then again I haven’t been here as much myself – busy with a few projects.

      Yes, we need challenges and stress. Apathy and indifference constantly knock at the door of our humanity – or I should say our self-centredness – and we need to be pulled into line. Thankfully, we are.


      • Todd Beal says:

        I hope things are going well for you Angela.


        • Yes thanks Todd – very well.
          I had a bad time after having to resign from the ministry I was heavily involved with for 30 years, but I am now involved in other ministries and have just completed two major projects. I love being busy!


          • Todd Beal says:


            I bet that was real tough resigning from your life’s work. My grandfather, after 50 consecutive years of full-time ministry at my childhood church, went through a period of deep depression when he retired. I had the privilege of hearing him speak as a guest minister at the same church this last Sunday. That was great.

            I am glad to know you have found new ways to busy yourself in service. There are a lot of people in heaven whose lives you touched, just waiting to welcome you home with open arms.

            Stay at it, your reward is waiting.


  4. snowgood says:

    Hi Angela

    This is one post that makes me smile, I’m sorry I should be more serious.

    Maybe you never saw the old Morecambe & Wise sketch with Andre Previn. There’s something funny about a Grand Piano.

    Our great British export (sadly it’s a TV programme) regularly features Morris Marinas which invariably end up being flattened by a Grand Piano, much to the owners club’s annoyance.

    Watching “The Passion” the tension in “The Garden”was well portrayed, Jesus knew what was coming, and suffered the human tension unaided by those he loved, even going so far as to be betrayed by one of his own.

    That was tension, but the biggest tension was broken when the cords of death were burst apart by the spotless one.

    Hallelujah, what a Saviour.


    • I’ve never watched Morecambe & Wise. I’m not a fan of British humour – or of TV.

      Tension and stress is part of life. Without it we would achieve nothing.

      I have to agree that we know comparatively little of this when we compare with that of God the Father and Christ the Saviour during the events of His great work of salvation. Can you imagine the agony and stress of the Father as He poured out His wrath on our sin in His Son’s body? Enormous! And He did it for me!

      What a Saviour!


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