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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: Being Squeezed
By Sara O Rodriguez
11/12/07


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“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:71

After giving birth to my daughter, a nurse came into my room and with deliberate action began to squeeze my lower abdomen. Instinctively, I grabbed her hand twisting her pinky finger as far back as I could, until she stopped torturing me. After she freed herself from my grip, she grabbed my wrist angrily and hissed, “Look! I know that this is painful for you; however, it needs to be done. If all of the tissue from the placenta is not out, infection will set in, and then you will really be in pain! She then took my hands, placed them on the bed rail, and commanded me to hold on tight, while she reassumed the squeezing.

This scenario has been replayed over and over in my life, during the past thirty plus years. My heavenly Father periodically have had to squeeze the junk out of my life, while I’ve screamed and tried to push His hand away from the painful spots in my life. Time and time again His reaction has been the same as that nurse; “This is for your own good, my child, so hang on to me while I do the work that needs to be done.”

Romans 8:28- tell us that, all things work out for the good of those who love God and have been called according to his purpose. Knowing this truth doesn’t necessarily make it easier while going through those times of squeezing. What we want is immediate relieve from our pain often jumping off the potter’s wheel too soon and thus prolonging the inevitable. We bargain with God; rationalize our behavior; blame someone else; we do what we must, just to get the attention off of the problem and hope it will go away. Only to have it show up at another inopportune time, and begin the process all over again.

For years the Lord had been calling my attention to things in my life that stemmed from childhood abuse. Anger, fear and unforgiveness, dominated my life making me a hard person to live with. The results were frequent bouts of depression, which I refuse to seek help for. Time and time again, the Lord would bring me to the brink of healing, only to have me withdraw in terror. Fears of every kind kept me from surrendering, although, I needed and wanted healing desperately. Thankfully, and mercifully, he never gave up on me, but pursued me until I surrendered and allowed him to clean up the mess inside of me.

I awoke one morning with an awesome sense of peace like I never had before. As I lay savoring it, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, “Sara, don’t be afraid of the valley, rather embrace it.” He made understand that as much as I want to be on the mountain top, I cannot get there unless I make it through the valley. The valley may be an uncomfortable and painful place to be, however, the healing we receive and the growth we achieve, seldom takes place anywhere else. The best thing is that, though, sometimes we may feel alone in the situation, he promises us never to leave us nor forsake us, but will hold us all the way through.

If you are going through one of those valleys, or squeezing times, please know that God is not mad at you, he is just trying to make you more like Him. Be encouraged! The end result is well worth the pain!

Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage,
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,(or mourning)
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion


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Karen Wilber 11/15/07
Now here's an analogy you don't see everyday. ;-D But boy could I relate to your birth story. Ouch!

And you're right - even after the mountaintop - there's usually a little squeezing that needs to be done - for our own good. So stay on the table. Like a brand new mom, you know good things lie ahead.
Seema Bagai 11/17/07
This is a good devotional piece. Watch your sentence construction, though. A bit of editing and this piece will shine.