From a squeezed heart the sweet can also flow.
Hearts all around me are being squeezed. Each are being squeezed hard by different, yet difficult, circumstances. My long-time, sweet friend, who pours fuel into my soul on a regular basis, was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Pressing hard on this mama's heart is my son. This son who lights up my day when he walks into the room, is grieving hard a relationship lost. My best friend's "mama" heart is aching because she left her son at the Naval Academy on Thursday. She is struggling to even breathe. She won't be able to have any contact with her first born for 8 weeks, and he won't come home until Thanksgiving. These are just three of many precious hearts being squeezed around me.
Because friends and family are being squeezed, my heart is hard-pressed on all sides for these very special people in my life. I hurt because they hurt. As I'm being squeezed on their behalf, my eyes leak tears and my heart bleeds out love, encouragement, faith and hope. I cherish each of these precious relationships and welcome the privilege to walk along side them through these hard moments.
Jesus too was squeezed on all sides as He walked and lived life on this earth. Remember the woman that had been bleeding for 12 years? Read the entire account in Mark 5. In the middle of a crowd, as Jesus was making his way to help a squeezed daddy heart, (Jairus' daughter was very sick and close to death), healing power was released from Him as He was being pulled and tugged on. The bleeding woman believed if she could just touch the hem of His robe she would be healed. As the crowd pressed in harder, Jesus knew that power had gone out from Him. And when He called her out, He told her, "Your faith has healed you..." (Mark 5:34 NIV)
During the encounter with the bleeding woman, Jairus' daughter died. This daddy's heart was broken! Those who came to tell Jairus the news also thought all hope was lost. Jesus was too late to offer any help now. Little did they know, but Jesus was coming to do a greater thing. He wasn't just going to heal Jairus' daughter, He was going to raise his daughter from the dead. And He did! Jairus experienced joy like he had never known because of his hard-squeezed, faith-filled heart and what glory God received as a result!
Jesus didn't try to avoid people with difficult lives. He took the time to be pressed and squeezed; to pour love, forgiveness, hope, grace, mercy, kindness, healing, and so much more, into the people around Him. He raised the dead, ate with sinners, spent time with children, taught the masses and the few. He met them where they were. He healed hearts. He was drawn to those who were hurting and were in need physically, and spiritually. He showed us what the Father's heart looks like.
Ultimately, God poured out of Himself, from the spout of His heart, an incomprehensible love for a sin-sick world in desperate need of a sinless Savior. The ultimate squeeze. His Son sacrificed. Squeezed hard until He died...for you. For me.
Jesus had to be squeezed to death for JOY to freely flow. Dark places give way to JOY as it greets the morning! Resurrection day! LIFE anew!
And for all who have faith in Him, we get to experience that JOY and LIFE every moment of every day!
Being hard-pressed isn't fun, but it is necessary for us to develop a heart like Jesus'. Being squeezed is a two-fold process. First, we are squeezed to empty out ourselves so we can be filled with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Second, once we have received Him into our lives, we are to squeeze out His character when faced with hard-pressed opportunities. Whether we are being squeezed with our own hurts or with the hurts of others, Christ is who needs to be poured out of our hearts. This is how we show what the Father's heart looks like.
Don't avoid those who are in need of the Savior's heart. Take the time to be squeezed and hard-pressed, and drip Jesus into others who need Him. God's heart is overflowing with compassion, love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, encouragement, and hope. As we squeeze out the heart of the Father, joy fills our glass and swells our souls. Because what is squeezed out is real, sweet, transforming, and eternal.
"All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God." 2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV