Squeezed

If you stood a Christian and a non-Christian side by side, it might be impossible to tell at a quick glance who was who. Both wear pleasant smiles, perform kind deeds, and work diligently. You might find both serving in soup kitchens, rehab centers, homeless shelters, and orphanages. Believers and non-believers become doctors, teachers, business leaders, lawyers, and soldiers. If both groups can exhibit such respectable character, what makes being a Christian so special?

The answer might be found in what I learned from fifth grade boys. More times than I can remember, I found myself in the hallway at school with a boy or two who couldn’t keep their curse words to themselves. Even some of my “best” boys, when squeezed hard enough, allowed those words to squirt out in frustration and anger. (Girls were usually more likely to spew hurtful words rather than cursing.) More times than not, those nasty words turned into swinging fists that blackened the reputations of the ones involved. So, here’s what I learned: If you want to know what’s inside someone, just give them a squeeze.

We all begin the same – filled with sin. None of us can be right with God unless our sin bill is paid. If we choose to pay our own bill, we struggle through life looking for something to combat the sin all around us. Eventually, life always squeezes hard, and we have nothing powerful enough inside with which to fight. We live our whole life striving for peace and never finding it. In the end, God sadly lets us pay our own way. We miss experiencing the incredible, everlasting life He has waiting for those who choose a different way.

Jesus offers that different way because He loves us so much. He has done His part in taking care of our sin bill. All of our past and present debts can be paid in full. The grace of Jesus can even continue to cover our future sins. All we have to do is repent of our unbelief and believe that He is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, and that He can do it for us! We surrender our weakness, gain His strength, and become new creations. Then, we will not only enjoy the blessing of heaven one day, but we also have the Holy Spirit living inside us, empowering us to enjoy the life we’re living now. That’s a remarkable trade!

Maybe this is all old news to you. But, it never hurts to be reminded of why being a Christian is so special. Besides, remembering how incredibly far God’s love, the grace of Jesus, and the friendship with the Holy Spirit has brought us should reignite our passion to become peacemakers. As peacemakers, we happily serve as examples of how finding peace with God enables us to experience inexpressible and unexplainable joy. “Blessed are the peacemakers …” (Matthew 5:9a)

When life squeezes us hard, we may find ourselves “pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NLT) Peace in the face of trouble and hard times is something the world doesn’t understand, but wishes it could find.

God truly blesses the peacemakers, and Jesus calls them “… the children of God!” (Matthew 5:9b) When Father God wraps us up in His love and gives us HIS gentle squeeze, the Spirit oozes out His peace onto our chaotic world. 

If today finds you not feeling as peaceful as you want to be, “tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7b-8, NLT)

If you want to know what’s inside a child of God, watch for the squeeze.

Posted in
a poster saying with text saying “SQUEEZED”

My God Story – Ella Van Deusen

By Donna Jackson | June 21, 2022 |

I’ve waited weeks now to introduce you to my sweet friend Ella Van Deusen! We first met when I began to serve the elementary aged children in our church. At the age of ten, Ella’s understanding of God and His Word made leading her small group a huge blessing. I’ve watched her grow into an…

One of the Good Ones

By Donna Jackson | June 14, 2022 |

You may call me shameless, and that’s okay.  However, I have someone who deserves a pat on the back. Some royal treatment. A great big “attaboy”. I’m sure you have a “someone” in your life who deserves the same. Even the apostle Paul told the Romans they should give honor to those to whom it is…

Weary and Discouraged

By Donna Jackson | June 7, 2022

As the iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” opens, we meet George Bailey, a banker who soon finds himself trapped under a boulder of challenging circumstances. Even though he has a wife, children, extended family, and friends who love him and would gladly help, he still feels trapped. At his lowest point, he feels like…

Your Story

By Donna Jackson | May 17, 2022

Have you ever wondered how your life’s story would read if it were part of the Bible? Would it be complicated or comical? Melodramatic or monotonous? Apathetic or adventurous? Heartbreaking or heroic? I wonder what Moses thought of the whole Exodus story. His exploits were definitely legendary – the stuff blockbusters are made of –…

I Don’t Want To

By Donna Jackson | May 10, 2022

For several years, our small tribe of women met for Bible study with female inmates in our local jail. They shared their stories of abuse, drugs, tragedy, and great sorrow. We did our best to point them to Jesus, the only One who could heal their hurt and help them find lasting peace. Since we…

No Time to Play Games

By Donna Jackson | May 3, 2022

Last Monday rubbed my patience about as raw as sushi. And I hate sushi. Everything I tried to do went sideways. In my mind, I imagined flinging my computer across the room so it would feel the same amount of grief it had caused me. Every click of the cursor apparently filled the hard drive…

A Life That Matters

By Donna Jackson | April 19, 2022

The motley tribe of seven disciples sat quietly beside the sea trying to understand the most recent swirl of events. Their time spent as Jesus’ close companions had given them direction and a purpose. But now, everything was changing so quickly. Their teacher, friend, and Messiah had been tortured, humiliated, and killed by Roman soldiers.…

You May Argue, But …

By Donna Jackson | April 12, 2022

Whenever my brain waves begin to lay flat and my mind becomes exhausted from a day of writing, I grab a glass of tea and the TV remote. I depend on Joanna Gaines and Giada DeLaurnetiis to give my mind a break. They offer the inspiration I need to fill a skillet or two for…

What Do You Want for the Children in Your Life?

By Donna Jackson | April 10, 2022

What do you want for the children in your life? That was the question I posed this week to a room full of courageous ladies in drug rehab. Answers flew back: “Happiness”, “Peace”, “Strength”, “A relationship with God”. In a previous Bible study, they had asked for a message on parenting. My wheels immediately began…

Why Travel Perfection Road?

By Donna Jackson | April 5, 2022

On the outside my grandmother Josephine looked like any other grandmother. She wore glasses, gray hair, and her share of wrinkles and spots. But on the inside pumped the heart of a playful little girl. We cut paper dolls out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog, sang at her piano, and turned brand-new pointed Crayola…