Caught In The Squeeze
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us!”
(Hebrews 12:1-2 … Read Hebrews 12:1-7)
I find reading stories of incidents that happen in various dimensions of history to be fascinating and often inspiring. On the morning of April 16, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, poured out of the nearby woods and struck a line of Union Soldiers occupying the ground near Pittsburgh Landing on the Tennessee River. The overpowering Confederate offensive drove the unprepared Federal forces from their camps and threatened to overwhelm Ulysses S. Grant’s entire command. Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon they had established a battle line at the sunken road, known as the “Hornet’s Nest.” Repeated rebel attacks failed to carry Hornet’s Nest, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured them. While that battle was raging a soldier in the Union troop was ordered by his commanding officer to go to the rear to rest for a little bit. The fighting was fierce and severe and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer and with wide-eyed exclamation said, “Captain, give me a gun. This fight ain’t got any rear!!” In other words they were totally surrounded and caught in the squeeze of the Confederates.
Have you ever felt that way as a believer – pressured from every side?? We have a deep desire to stay true to the Lord, but we constantly battle the allurements of the world from without and the almost irresistible pull of sinful inclinations from within. It seems that there is ‘no rear’ … no rest from the battle and crisis at hand.
In Hebrews 12:1, there is a very interesting word that parallels this thought. The Greek word translated “ensnares” literally refers to being ‘surrounded’ or ‘hemmed in’. When we feel pressure to give in to the sin that surrounds us, we are to look to Jesus, the author (literally “captain) of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He is our example. As He approached the hour of His crucifixion, Jesus was encircled by the most powerful forces of darkness known to any human, yet He came through to victory. The crucifying of the flesh is never pleasant but the result is victory for us too. Jesus gained that victory and we get to draw on its’ power in the midst of temptation, crisis and overwhelming situations that would cause us to want to quit, give up and give in. The Psalmist had this confession, “The Lord is my refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble!” (Psalm 46:1). The word ‘trouble’ here in the Hebrew language is a reference to being in a ‘tight spot’ We often get hurt and wounded in those tight spots.
If we’re in a wounded position or if we’re looking for relief, we need to stay close to the Captain of our salvation and trust Him alone. He’ll turn the tide of the battle so that we won’t be destroyed when we’re caught in the squeeze of life. Author John Sper wrote:
When you’re tempted to give in
To pressures that surround
Turn to the Lord, He’s always there
Relief in Him is found
When we’re ‘caught in the squeeze’ let’s always remember the powerful principle that the Apostle John teaches us in his epistle: the powers of evil that surround us are no match for the power of Jesus within us. (Read 1 John 4:4)
Mmmmmmm……….think about it!!!