February 15, 2020

What Comes Out When You Are Squeezed?

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 15, 2020

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:3

As I write this, I find myself battling unexpected and severe lower back pain. I recently unloaded a truck filled with heavy sound equipment and failed to heed the widely accepted wisdom, “Lift with your legs, not your back.” Lesson (sorely) learned! While the pain itself is frustrating and distracting, to say the least, what is even more disappointing is how physical sickness can reveal spiritual ailments that often lie hidden within.

It is easy to be a pleasant and joyful person when everything seems to be going our way. Without physical pain, we happily jump into creative endeavors and serve others without any thought of self. When we have a job that gives us purpose and power, we stand tall with our shoulders back. Without financial stress and strain, we are abundant in our generosity. And yet, these moments are not trustworthy windows into our deepest selves. As a friend of mine often puts it, “What comes out when you are squeezed?” 

It is in times of testing that we discover the true state of our souls. Sometimes the testing will come and go in an instant. A wave of anger crashes over you, seemingly out of nowhere, due to the simplest of provocations from a child or a colleague. Don’t shrug that moment off! Tend to the root issue at play and seek to identify what would cause you to react with such intense animosity and vitriol. 

For others of us, the passing moments have turned into long seasons of darkness, wondering if the light of day will ever break upon us again? We live with chronic pain, unemployment, and the breakdown of relational trust and intimacy. And in these seasons we face constant temptation to be hollowed out and emptied of our abiding faith and enduring joy. Yet true faith and joy are gifts given by God that are able to transcend our seasons of doubt, pain, and sorrow. 

You can be filled with perfect peace, even in the midst of a raging storm. In light of this, learn to receive these seasons as gifts from the Lord, strange as that may sound. Jesus wants to heal your deepest wounds and darkest sins, yet healing is not found in hiding. True freedom is found when we bring our anger, bitterness, and fear to the surface and ask the Lord to renew and restore us, by his grace, for our good and his glory.

Prayer

Father, thank you for moments and seasons of life that remind us of our need of healing, painful as they may be. By your Holy Spirit, continue your work of healing in my heart and life, shining the light of Christ into the darkest corners of my life. Amen.


Application

Begin to notice what comes out when you are squeezed by the challenges and trials of life.


Related Reading

Luke 21:19; Hebrews 6:12; 1 Peter 1:7


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