[Tamil Translation] My greatest desire would be to bear fruit for my Master in His will. I believe that is the cry of every tree planted by the Master, to bear fruit, much fruit for the Master. Yet even out of the bearing much fruit comes crushing blows that sometimes threaten to shake our very foundation of faith in God’s love for us. If that is you, don’t you move from this page till you are done with this post because I believe this word is for you – a lesson from the olive.
Uniquely, a hot growing season is required to ripen the fruit of the olive tree. Proudly, the trees survive and fruit well even with considerable neglect of the dry climate. Somewhere around the end of October, just when the hot climate turns to pleasant, the olives are ready to be plucked by their Master. The hot season has turned the olive fruits into their full green hue and they have grown into the fullest size. The olives are then washed to eliminate the impurities and every other small strange thing that could hinder the purity of its purpose! Thorough cleaning and hand picking among tons of olives to discard unwanted ones and foreign objects is another painstaking step that makes the olive oil so special.
After it is washed, the Master takes them to the stone mill to be crushed by huge stones. Before long, all the green full-sized olive fruits are crushed into mere paste before it is further introduced to the pressing machine. The resulting olive paste is then mixed and the process of separation begins. After which, it is left alone to rest to separate the watery part of olives from the oil which begins to flow, by now.
This olive oil, also called as liquid gold, starts its life not in the bottle but at the crushing and pressing of its beautiful self.
Truth be told, it is not the pleasant familiar situations of life that makes us strong but the breaking and the crushing of life that brings the best out of us. The more we struggle to surrender the more difficult, we make it for ourselves.
I remember counseling someone who was going through a time of tough rejection in life and telling that they had 2 options. The first, he could come out of this problem angry, bitter and difficult to deal with. The other, he could surrender to the hands of God and allow God to then polish him and fill him with wisdom, for further purposes of God.
Being human, there are times when I stand at the door of decisions where I flinch for a second and come up with questions like, ‘Why Lord? Why this? Why me? How could you?’, just to be reminded by the Holy Spirit about the pressing that brings the best of what is within us. I then try to replace these questions with a thankful heart and say, ‘God you are faithful, you know better than me, help me get through this too, help me praise and worship you like Job in the Bible.’
Speaking to a young girl who was blamed wrongly for her mother’s sickness, she mentioned how all the insults and pain had brought great change in her character. As she took the hurt into the presence of God, the Spirit of God brought great humility into her heart. Crushing not only changes your heart but when surrendered, it polishes you into a precious pearl. [ClickToTweet]
Like it is seen about the women in the New Testament, the breaking of the alabaster box allowed the aroma to spread beyond the house. Standing between God and man I’ve felt the pressure of seeing many unanswered broken families and situations. All I know from my personal experience is that as we lift those unanswered situations to God in worship, there is much that God will bring out of it beyond what our minds can fathom.
Notice this, 430 years of slavery led to the anointed Moses being born. Further, 400 years of silence from God between Malachi and Matthew brought forth the birth of Jesus. Your brokenness and helplessness is leading to the birth of an anointing and a purpose you have never experienced before! So, why not surrender into full-hearted worship right away?
Here’s a verse, I’ll leave you with that holds my life’s reins in my greatest need. Notice specifically, He is the ever-present help!
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:1-7
Question: What’s your experience of being crushed and what verse helps you the most?