Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pressed Hard to bring out the Best!

I don’t know if it is me or if life is seemingly a little bit harder and more complicated and the pressures are closing in on us? As we journey this life I notice my words can change and seemingly be filled with fear, doubt and disappointment.  Maybe for you like me  these words sound familiar. “Does this ever let up? Are you kidding me? Is this for real? What is next?” Just to name a few.

There is a sense of vulnerability. Trying to figure it all out does not work! It is time to step back and recognize God has a plan and it will play out. Here is the best way to look at it: God has deposited something valuable in us—new life that when lived out puts us in a different game on a different playing field because we are declared victors!

However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair. We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed.             2 Corinthians 4:7-9 Amplified Bible

I like the power of the word “but” in this instance. Regardless of what is happening there is “but.” I might be roughed up but not beaten! I can reluctantly accept and handle a battle knowing I will not lose! We can rely on the reality that good things can come from being pressed! 

 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."        Romans 8:28 NIV

For me it’s like the story of the olive and how an olive goes through the process of becoming the most desired olive oil.  Not just any old olive is chosen for this process, they have to be selected (them that are called).  Then they are washed to remove the impurities, and then pressed by a large weighted mill stone, to extract the oil. But before it can be used, the water in the liquid must be separated from the pure oil by being basically being spun. What does this have to do with us? Those things or tests that may press us will bring out the strength of God in us!  It will reveal the impurities and cause us to separate from those things that don't mix with what God has for our lives. In that press, our obedience to the Lord's direction is essential!  He won't allow the press to kill us, just to bring out the best. So we can't just focus on the right-now discomfort of the press, we have to visualize the oil. It's On! interesting to know that an olive in itself is only good for food consumption (limited use), but after it's pressed the oil can be used in cooking, medicine, beauty treatments, and many more things! So don't fret the press, look forward to the oil.

Press On!

No comments:

Post a Comment