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The Squeeze

February 27, 2024
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The Squeeze

 

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3, ESV).

 

Today I am sitting at a cancer update conference and just heard about a drug that can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by about 6 percent at five years, but with significant symptoms of diarrhea for three years, a cost of more than $100,00 a year and no clear improvement in long-term survival. One doctor in the audience commented on the cost and toxicity. The presenter responded, “It is always our concern with cancer drugs whether the juice is worth the squeeze.”

 

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

 

This is a reasonable question to ask about following Christ, and Jesus encouraged His followers to do so.

 

“‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”’ (Matthew 8:19b-20), NIV).

 

Jesus was very clear about the squeeze required for His juice in our lives.

 

Most of us don’t count the cost because the cost seems light. Others feel the squeeze so painfully that they question the sanity of God (as in The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken).

 

God’s actual demands are extreme and require total surrender. If we are willing, He will squeeze until all the “my way, not yours” is squeezed out of us. For those who truly seek to follow Christ, the more we are willing to surrender—the harder He is willing to squeeze.

 

As Oswald Chambers puts it: “If you want to be a fully orbed grape, don’t place yourself in God’s Hand. He will crush you. Wine cannot be made in any other way.”

 

There are two honest ways to diminish the pain of the squeeze. One is to forsake discipleship altogether. The other is to enjoy the juice of His presence so much we hardly notice the pain.

 

Dear Father,

Squeeze on.

Amen

 

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