I now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church (Colossians 1:24). In commenting on this verse, Oswald Chambers shares; “I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter.” No one wants to use unripe grapes for grape juice. God wants to ripen us to be poured out wine into the lives of others. How does He ripen us? God matures us through His Word, prayer, the counsel of the righteous, and trials in our lives to name a few. He uses these elements to draw us closer to Him in a life of surrender. Some want God just to squeeze them as wine without going through the pain of spiritual growth and that just brings bitterness. Trust in God. Surrender your life to Him. Watch how He ripens your life to be squeezed for His wine into the lives of others!