7 May 2006

One More Squeeze

Picking up the twisted, rolled, and mutilated, tube of toothpaste, you decide to squeeze it one more time and somehow enough toothpaste comes out that you now think twice about throwing the tube away. “One more squeeze,” you say and put the tube back in the drawer. This routine goes on for five or six more days when you begin to wonder if this is the endless tube of toothpaste but finally on the seventh day, you find it impossible to get any more from the tube and put it to rest in the trash.

We’ve all been through a scenario like that with tubes of various products. Just when you think it’s time for the trash, you give it one more squeeze and find a little more.

God often brings us to scenes like that in our lives. We feel spent, twisted, mutilated, and ready for the trash heap when God says, “one more squeeze,” and somehow we find a little more.

There’s a scene in the book of Jonah as the story of the prophet picks up with his being tossed overboard in the middle of the raging sea and swallowed by a great fish. Whether it was a whale or not, we aren’t real sure but it was a fish large enough to swallow Jonah alive. It was from within the fish’s belly that Jonah, like the mutilated tube of toothpaste, went for one more squeeze.

Jonah 2:7 “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. NLT

The result for Jonah was the fish coughing up Jonah on shore. He was able to squeeze out one more prayer and his prayer was answered.

Perhaps you feel like a mutilated tube of toothpaste today. You’ve had life kind of squeezed right out of you. You feel like you’ve been twisted, rolled, and turned every which way but loose – much like Jonah felt I am sure when he was being tossed about inside the belly of the great fish. Well, see if you don’t have one more squeeze of a prayer in you today. In other words, don’t give up – like Jonah, see if you can get out one more prayer in the midst of your difficulty.

The Bible assures us that when we feel as desperate as that disfigured tube of toothpaste, God is listening. In fact, He is prompting us to get out one more squeeze of a prayer to Him.

Psalm 102:17 He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas. NLT

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. NLT

It’s in the darkest moments of feeling desperately empty and pressured past our limit that God shows us His power – but only after we give it one more squeeze.

Perhaps you are ready to give up on your job, your dream, your marriage, or even life itself today – but before you do, pick up a tube of toothpaste and give it one more squeeze. As you do, think about giving it one more try – look to God one more time in your desperation and call out to Him one more time. He has not abandoned you. His timing is perfect. Just as Jonah found that God’s purpose was to get Jonah where he needed to be, so it is with our “end of the tube” moments that God is getting us where we need to be – the place called empty so we can be filled with His love and power.

Go ahead – give it one more squeeze and you will be that much closer to finding God’s answer.

This devotion was used with permission from Bob Brubaker. Bob has joined the Circle team and will be teaching next year at HOUSE Apopka and Clermont. He is also working with Athletic Director Lisa Tipton to offer the Extreme Training program outlined below. To learn more about Bob and his ministry visit his Web site, www.bobbrubaker.com.

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