Monday, January 3, 2011


Last night a dear leader in the faith I loved named Earl McClellan shared an analogy about us being squeezed like play-doh through a shaped hole. When squeezed through the hole, your composition then takes on the shape of what you are squeezed through. He urged us to allow God to squeeze us so that we might be molded in His shape and image. 

This was the scope of 2010 for me, so I guess now I digress into a bit of reflection. 2009 was a quiet year after returning home to Austin and job hunting for over 7 months. Once I found a place I called home for a season, I found myself in the middle of some of the worst storms of my life. I was constantly at war with myself, led and controlled by moments, situations, and emotions I just wanted to forget. While I had grown accustomed, in these times, to use things, events, or hobbies to keep me busy and distract me, there was a righteous defiance within me to deal with things. I did not know it at the time, but this was my call to be squeezed.

When people say or do things that cause us to look at our own short-comings, depending on the level of our maturity it can be a very defensive and emotional moment. Tempers can flare, errant or hurtful words can be spoken, and dissension is possible. The truth of the matter is that being forced to look at our inefficiencies naturally draws us towards growth, and as anyone who has experienced growing pains can attest, it is uncomfortable to feel that particular pressure, as if someone is squeezing a sensitive part of ourselves. I know facing some bad roots in my life and dealing with those made me feel completely wrung out, like a dry sponge. It was as if every last drop had been squeezed out, but now I was fresh and ready to soak up the right things in my life.

In the Scriptures, 1 Peter 5:10 says that "after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace ... will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
If we are feeling the squeeze and running from it to earthly things (money, possessions, image, a relationship, physical pleasures, etc.), then the pressure will be alleviated and we will slip and slide through life with what is inside of us. We will still retain that which weighs us down and starts to stagnate, and stagnation leads to rot. Only when we understand and embrace the true change that being a Christian requires will we allow ourselves to be squeezed and find the things that preclude us from being agents of love, grace, joy, and peace truly drawn out of us. But if we take heed of the Scripture and recognize suffering as a time of growth, then we will find ourselves no longer restored by our own devices, by by God's renewal and strengthening.

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