Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 1, 2013

The Squeeze Play, by David Bower

The Game of Life

Have you ever heard life referred to as a game? I have, I’ve heard of the “game of life” for many years and I’ve always had something of a problem thinking of it in that light. By nature I’m more serious and tend to see things from a serious perspective. While I do have a sense of humor and enjoy a good laugh I find it almost impossible to tell an even really good joke without ruining it completely; as a result I don’t usually even try to be funny, for me, it just doesn’t work out all that well.

I have always been like that; I sometimes wonder if I even had what might be thought of as a “carefree childhood.” Even as a child I saw things in a serious way; life was not so much a joy as a challenge. From the time I was seven until I was 18 and completely on my own I lived in a succession of households where at least one of the adult members of the household couldn’t even stand me and saw me as an intrusive inconvenience.

An adversarial relationship like that does not encourage a relaxed, carefree, attitude on the part of a child so there was nothing in my personality or my environment that would encourage the development of that kind of attitude as I was growing up.

One of Life’s Squeeze Plays

A squeeze play is defined as a “power play: an aggressive attempt to compel acquiescence by the concentration or manipulation of power” We have all seen squeeze plays in the sporting world and have been subjected to life’s squeeze plays in one fashion or another; we have all experienced the results when circumstances seem to culminate in an event or a series of events that had a profound effect on our lives.

As I look back I have come to recognize that during my childhood, life was using a squeeze play on me; one of an infinite variety of pressures that life uses to shape us into the image it desires for us. The longer we live the greater the number of squeeze plays we will have endured as administered by a satanic world system with the willing assistance of our “old sin nature.”

I’m sure that each of you can recall times in your lives when you were subjected to “an aggressive attempt to compel acquiescence by the concentration or manipulation of power;” this could be by either people or circumstances or a combination of both. I see the death of my son and my grandson as examples of life’s squeeze plays.

A Conflict for the Christian

The Christian is faced with an interesting contradiction; even as the world is trying to squeeze us into its image the Lord is at work in the life of the Christian conforming him to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:28-30 we are told, “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

It is clear the Lord will be the ultimate victor in this conflict. The issue is how will the Christian react when these two opposing forces are at work at the same time in their lives; will the response be one of faith or one of sight? Thinking back to the death of my son our family faced that important question, would we respond to his death by faith or by sight?

On our son’s last day, when it became evident he had died, our family gathered around at the foot of his bed and I led them in prayer. I will not go into the details of the prayer other than to say I asked the Lord to strengthen us that our family might clearly demonstrate that God’s grace was abundantly sufficient at the time of death of a son and brother.

I’m delighted to tell you that God honored that prayer and by His grace we were able to turn our son’s funeral into a celebration of a life that was influential in moving at least one person to receive Christ as Savior. The Lord was honored by our response as we exhibited a joy in the Lord and expressed our gratitude for the life that we had been privileged to share for 28 years.

We had chosen the response of faith; what saddens me is to see those times the response of sight is chosen. How many times have we all heard, and perhaps even voiced complaints about circumstances that were a direct reflection on the nature of God.

Choosing the Path of Faith

The Bible makes it clear in many places that the right way of life for the Christian is the life of faith. As God’s children we are cautioned in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” In Hebrews 11:6 we are told, “6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

This can best be summed up in the first two verses of Romans 12 where we read, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 May God’s Good, Pleasing, and Perfect Will Be Done in Each of Our lives!


  1. Thank you for sharing some very personal times you have experienced with our Great God. Deep thoughts, deep faith! You always stretch me David and cause me to grow. Blessings to you and Adele…Elaine


  2. David, thank you for sharing some very wise words to warn us about our reactions to the “squeeze plays” of life. Often we focus more on the Mother in a child’s death, so thanks for sharing from a Father’s heart. Kathy S.


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