Squeeze--Don't Jerk

By David Berg

There is hardly anything that can be enjoyed in a hurry--a glass of wine, a walk, a talk, a ride, a view, a meal, or an embrace. God is hardly ever in a hurry. It takes Him time to make a baby, a flower, a tree, a sunset--or even a blade of grass. He is hardly ever in a hurry. He hardly ever does anything suddenly.

The sea is always peaceful, quiet, slow, and leisurely, except when there's a storm.

Speed kills. Haste makes waste. Patience takes faith. If you're in a hurry, you miss things, lose things, forget things, and wear out quickly. You live it up, but you might not be able to live it down. You marry in haste, but repent at leisure. You save a minute, but lose a life. You are penny-wise, but pound-foolish.

If you go slow, you get there quicker--at least you get there. Better late than never. Better safe than sorry. If you stop to look before you leap, you may not have to leap at all. A miss is as good as a mile. It takes time to aim straight.

In the army we had targets that moved, or were there just for a moment and then disappeared. Some of the boys were in such a hurry to shoot, for fear it would disappear, they missed it altogether. But I waited until I was sure I could hit the bull's-eye and made "sharpshooter"--an expert rifleman with nine out of ten in competition. Some were in such a hurry, they got so excited their rifles waved around, and they jerked the trigger so quick it jerked the whole rifle and caused them to miss the mark. Sin is missing the mark. I took time to rest my elbow firmly, hold my rifle securely, aim accurately, and squeeze the trigger slowly. Squeeze--don't jerk--or you'll miss something!

Rome wasn't built in a day. The Lord told me once that it takes time to build a house. Once when I was in a big hurry to do something, to know something, to make a decision, He said, "First, you must lay the foundation solidly, then lay brick upon brick and stone upon stone firmly with mortar, each piece fitting accurately; and you cannot do this in a hurry, or you'll have a wall that will crumble. Then, over all, the roof must be laid securely, beam upon beam, rafter upon rafter, tile upon tile. Then come the plasterers; then the painters; and finally the finishers, hanging windows and doors, placing ceilings and floors. Then at last you have a building fitly joined together--a beautiful sight to see, a well-made structure built slowly and well to last."

But I've seen some buildings thrown up in a hurry, as some crooked contractors used to joke, "Long enough to get out of them before they fall." I saw thousands of these demolished in the Great Miami Hurricane. Thousands of people were killed by faulty, hastily built construction that could not stand the wind of adversity.

You can have peace even in the midst of storm, if you know you are secure and at rest in a safe building--strong, solid, well built, unmoved by the wildest gale. A good building doesn't get up and run away. It's not blown away by the storm; it just sits tight until it blows over.

We were in a hurry to get home to do our writing, but instead we sat down on a lovely rock wall by a busy street to enjoy the view for a moment when we got this inspiration.

While sitting there, a large group of young Sabra children of grade-school age stopped curiously to ask who we were, where we were from, what we were doing, and to eagerly give us their names, chat in their broken English, and ask how we like Israel. We said, "Israel is beautiful, you are beautiful, the weather is beautiful, and God is beautiful," and they smiled and laughed and were pleased and bade us a cheery good-bye, as the couple dozen of them moved on. If we had been in a hurry and had not taken time to sit down to enjoy the view, we would have missed this interesting experience of the charming, warm, friendliness of these young Israelis.

The wicked hastens to sin with his tongue, and with his feet, and with his hands. But we are to wait upon the Lord. He that waits upon the Lord shall renew his strength--instead of wearing out (Isaiah 40:31). "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). They that believe have entered into rest. "He giveth His beloved rest" (Psalm 127:2).

Rest in the Lord. Patience takes faith. "Tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3), because it compels you to trust the Lord, to have faith in God for the outcome.

The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest. "There is no peace, saith the Lord, for the wicked" (Isaiah 57:20-21, 48:22). They are tossed to and fro and they cannot rest. "But there remaineth a rest for the children of God" (Hebrews 4:9).

Squeeze--don't jerk--or you'll miss something, and missing the mark of God is sin.

When Moses was in a hurry to deliver the children of God, he killed the Egyptian and had to flee for his life (Exodus 2:11-15). But after 40 years of patiently, humbly, tending sheep in the wilderness, with time to listen to the voice of God instead of his own impulses, he was ready for the slow, laborious, patient work of the Exodus--slow, but sure (Acts 7:30-36).

The hare never made it, but the tortoise did.

Then 40 days and nights on the mountain and Moses heard from God, but in one split second of anger, he broke all Ten Commandments and had to go back and spend another 40 days; his haste took him twice as long (Exodus 24:18, 32:15-19, 34:1,28).

My wife used to say to me on the way to some meeting or appointment, "Now, honey, we don't have time for any of your shortcuts," because she knew what usually happened when I started cutting across country trying to find a quicker way: We usually got lost entirely and wound up later than ever!

Squeeze--don't jerk--or you'll miss the mark--and that's sin.

Sometimes my wife gets very impatient with me, because I don't answer her immediately when she asks me a question. But it takes time to think and pray, to be sure you give the right answer. Anybody can shoot off his mouth immediately, but is he really saying anything? Be slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19). Go slow; take your time--you'll enjoy it more, even lovemaking. You'll get more out of life.

My father used to sing a little ditty, "Never let yourself get worried, hurried, or flurried, or else you'll find yourself getting harried, married, or buried."

Squeeze--don't jerk--or you'll miss the mark--and that's sin.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard" (Proverbs 6:6), but it takes time even to study the busy little antics of the ant, to learn anything from him.

"Be not slothful, but diligent in business" (Romans 12:11). The sloth hangs there all day on the limb with his eyes shut, sleeping, scarcely moving, till he looks like part of the tree. He's not just slow--he acts like he's dead. When on the firing line, I was neither hasty nor did I forget to fire altogether, but I took reasonable time to aim straight and squeeze, not jerk.

Be temperate in all things (1 Corinthians 9:25). "Let your moderation be known to all men" (Philippians 4:5). Don't run too fast, lest you stumble, and don't just sit there. Do something, but walk circumspectly.

Squeeze--don't jerk--or you may miss the mark--and that's a sin!