When I was younger, I loved drinking lemonade, but I did not enjoying making it.
Why? Because I felt I had to work too hard.
You’ll recall that before all the nifty kitchen gadgets of today, one’s only tool was one’s hands.
Oh I detested the squeezing.
Sometimes the lemons were so hard that I had to apply consistent and prolonged pressure to get the juice out.
Other times I’d wonder, is this even worth it?
Consider the following:
1. In the same way you must squeeze the lemon to get the juices out, sometimes it takes pressure to bring out the best in us. James 1:3 (CEV) tells us, “…you learn to endure by having your faith tested.”
It is only when we are out of our comfort zones, when we are facing seemingly-insurmountable obstacles, that we find out what we are actually capable of.
2. Just as I did not enjoy squeezing lemons, God does not enjoy seeing us in these situations.
But I wanted the lemonade, didn’t I?
In the same way, God knows what this squeezing we are going through is meant to produce. He doesn’t allow it without good cause.
We don’t have to like it; we just need to trust that God is working things out for our benefit. Romans 8:28 (CEV) reminds us, “God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him…” He has a plan and a purpose for each one of us.
3. Let us be honest – easy life = no need for God.
We all know that this is a fallacy, but it happens all the time; we forget so easily.
Unfortunately, it’s also undeniably true that getting squeezed keeps us on our knees.
Dear friend, I know that it’s not easy.
Feeling squeezed doesn’t usually feel good.
But I pray today that God will comfort you, that He will hold you as you are going through this period of pressure.
And most of all, I pray that at the end He will give you a terrific testimony – one that will strengthen your faith and encourage others.
Meanwhile, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)