I dropped the little bag into my cup and reached for the hot water. As it poured over the pomegranate tucked into the little tea-pocket, I noticed the faintest hint of color begin to seep into the water. Grabbing my spoon, I squeezed the tea bag against the edge and instantly a rich, deep purple began swirling into the water. Watching that color, my mind traveled back to another time where a squeeze took place—only now, it involved lives.
This was no country church gathering. Neither was this a football-sized field, crowded with screaming fans. This vast plain—stretching as far as the eye could see—was literally crawling with people. Everybody who was anybody was there, each straining their eyes to catch a glimpse of the world’s most powerful ruler. However, no one could have missed his giant statue—covered from head to toe with gold.
As the music sounded, all the people bowed down as they had been ordered, paying homage to this idol, this image of King Nebuchadnezzar’s doing. Did I say all? Well, in that vast throng, all but three young men bowed—and they were captives, at that!
If ever there was a squeeze, this would qualify! With the threat of death, and the smell of smoke in their nostrils, they faced the fury of the strongest monarch on earth. Their true character was squeezed out, and the rich color of their faith flowed boldly as they declared that their God—the only true God—was able to deliver them from death, if He so chose.
The fragrance of their love and trust in God wafted up to the king; their courage in the face of death, their unflinching trust in God, and their peace and steadfastness stood in marked contrast to the throngs of cowering subjects. When faced with fire, they didn’t suddenly choose Jesus, they had chosen Him years before—and their true character shone brightly as a witness to the heathen king and the masses assembled on that plain.*(Read the rest of the story in Daniel chapter 3!)
Looking into my teacup, I pondered what happens now, today. What happens when I’m squeezed? At times, my refusal to forgive has caused rust to flow; at other times, it’s been the bitter taste of pride. But, praise God, when I surrender my life unreservedly to Jesus, He transforms me. The richness and beauty of His character and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit flows forth, so when I’m squeezed, my love, loyalty, faith and trust in God—my walk with God—is poured out to others.
Our influence spreads whether we want it to, or not. If we try to squeeze it out ourselves, it never happens. However, when life squeezes us, our true color pours forth. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45.
Peter tells us that we’re called and chosen to be God’s own special people. Why? So we can bring honor and glory to Him “who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
Are you caught between the glass and the spoon? Trust in God to hold you; let His Spirit flow through you; then stand amazed as His light shines through you.