pigDave and Sue Lupton have to sit on the floor when they watch TV. Their three pet Vietnamese pot bellied pigs not only hog the remote control, they fill the sofa. In fact, at 180lbs each, Poppy, Danny and Duwee take up most of the couple’s tiny bungalow at St Breward, Cornwall. “But,” said Sue, “We love them being in the house – they’re my babies, even when they are being difficult.”

Feeling squeezed can be, for many of us, a familiar experience. It might be our work, family commitments, or supporting a friend through a tough time, that takes away our feeling of being able to spread ourselves. Sometimes the appropriate response is to push out of the way what’s making us feel restricted. Sometimes we make space for the extra burdens out of love.

Jesus sometimes went off by himself to escape the pressure of the crowds. But as his final challenge to Jerusalem approached, his love led him to accept increasingly limited options. The demands from the people for healing, the pressure from his opponents and his own understanding of where he was heading combined to squeeze him into a path which led eventually to the utter immobility of the cross.

If we feel that our space or our time is being invaded, we can choose whether to allow that or not. Often the right thing to do is to persevere. Our commitment may lead to our own needs being displaced but our love for other people or our dedication to a particular task can make the sacrifice a joy.

Read: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed (2 Corinthians 4.8)

Rejoice: in the satisfaction I get from caring for someone else.

Reflect: Ought I to be claiming more space for myself in any of my relationships?

Remember: God will make good use of whatever space we leave for him.

Resolve: to work at the balance between looking after myself and caring for others.

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