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Squeezed by Stress

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.  Hebrews 11:39 NLT

squeezed by stressWhen squeezed, the ball should relieve stress.

I have one of those balls. It’s the size and color of a peach, and since I live in Georgia, the color suits. Except when a family member mistook a peach I was about to eat for my stress-relief ball and squeezed it. 

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real. When I was a kid, fake fruit was a popular table decoration. The only way to determine if it was genuine was to squeeze it. I had a friend who learned that lesson the hard way when she swallowed a plastic grape.

We are a lot like the fake fruit or stress ball. When circumstances squeeze our lives, they show whether the fruit of the Spirit in us is real. We may fake it when things are going well, but stressful situations show if we’re trusting God. 

We live in super-squeezy times. I’m tempted to believe things are worse now than they’ve ever been—until I remember that one of the first four people God created had the actual life squeezed out of him … and by his brother. 

The writer of Hebrews memorialized Abel, that brother. Often called Faith’s Hall of Faith, this chapter lists people who trusted God, even when life squeezed them. They gained a good reputation. As they were stoned, sawn in two, and otherwise pulverized, someone watched and took note of their fruit.

God works when we’re squeezed. I used my peach to infuse water, but first, I had to squish it. Similarly, when difficult circumstances press faithful people, they infuse the lives of others with the flavor of Christ.

Jesus told His followers to expect trouble in this world, so I think squeezing is His plan for us until He returns.

But let’s not lose heart. Hebrews 11 ends with a promise: God’s people will be perfect one day. Forget stress-relief balls. Let’s meditate on that truth. It’s sweeter than a Georgia peach.

How do you react when life squeezes you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Martha Hynson

Martha Hynson teaches kindergarten at Chattahoochee Christian School in Clermont, Georgia. She enjoys writing for both children and adults. Her work has been published in a variety of magazines and in Chicken Soup for the Multi-Tasking Mother’s Soul. You can read more of her musings on living a life of faith at her website, Be Encouraged, at www.marthahynson.com.