Anyway, the fortune in my cookie last night said "When weaving nets, all threads count." I originally thought I'd come up with a blog posting about that but, after thinking about it for awhile, I still got nothing. If you have anything for it, please blog about it -- just let me know so I can read it!
Evan's fortune was one of those more typical ones -- something like "You're a wonderful person and you're going to live a long and propserous life in which everyone will love you and you will be a blessing to all who know you." Or something like that. It's nice to see your son get a fortune like that.
Lisa's fortune, though was the one that really resonated with me: "When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out -- because that's what's inside." Ahh yes, there was my next blog posting.
When we're squeezed -- when the pressure is on, that is when we find out what is really inside. Sometimes this is a private thing and sometimes those around us find out as well. Will we hold up to the pressure with strength, love and grace? Or will we back away, deny what we have professed verbally, or become angry?
Obviously, from scripture, one of the best examples of this is Peter. In Matthew 26 (The Message), Peter says "Even if everyone else falls to pieces on account of you, I won't." Yet we know the rest of that story ...
When I was in Israel, we stood on the steps where Peter denied knowing Jesus. Next door to the steps was a house where the owners kept many chickens including a couple of roosters. The roosters crowed a lot while we were there. While we were there, the natural thing to do was to ask yourself if you would ever deny Jesus. For Peter, those upward-leading steps from Caiaphas' house toward Jerusalem were indeed a time of being squeezed. He caved under the pressure. I pray that, for me, the upward leading steps that I encounter during my fiath journey -- the times of squeezing -- are times of drawing closer to God, times not of denial but times of reaffirmation.
As I start each day, I pray that I will show God's love and grace even in stressful and difficult times. I think that in the future, I will talk about those as being times of "squeezing". Some days, I do fairly well. Other days, well, I don't do so well. But God loves me anyway, he always redeems me, and welcomes me back. I try to learn from the times when I do not "squeeze out" well -- when what I want to be inside of me doesn't come out but instead something vile comes out. But, afterward, He affirms that He loves me just the same and He wants me to be His son. Wow ... what a segue ... that's a perfect time to say it ... "Happy Father's Day, Dad. Thanks for all you do for me. Let's go out for Chinese again soon."