This morning it occurred to me that many of our favorite foods/drinks in life are so much tastier once they are crushed. Coffee beans are ground and then they become wonderful coffee. Their aroma fills the air much more potently when crushed. And they make the thing most of us long to sip on first thing in the morning, only after being crushed. Fruit is delicious, but most of us love when it is crushed and made into sweet jams and jellies too. Crushed herbs flavor our foods, bringing that extra spice of life. Yes, crushing indeed enhances the flavor of many things.
The same applies to us. For those of us who are willing to endure the crushing, there is a great reward. I have realized more over the last 5 years of my life than ever, that crushing is a largely voluntary process. We have chosen to walk the steady walk of obedience to the Lord in the midst of crushing, but I realize that at any moment, we could have stopped and decided to take some matters into our own hands. It was a great measure of self-control that has led us to restrain and refrain from certain things. God has called me to not work outside of the home. I’ve known this for quite some time. Years ago, He spoke to me that if I would step out of work to tend to my family, then He would bless our business.
I can hear some of you thinking….”Well, you don’t have a business anymore, so I guess you missed that word.”
I understand you feeling this way, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I knew that my stepping away and choosing obedience, would bring crushing before it brought the richness of abundance. But even as I type that, I know I’m wrong. What’s actually happened is, obedience brought immediate fruit to things in our household. No, it hasn’t exactly reflected in our pocketbook so much, but we’ve discovered treasure beyond the things that rust can destroy. Family blessings. Closeness. Depth.
In a world consumed with titles, glorifying busyness, being an influencer, etc. We have opted out and have found something far greater. It’s in the slowness and the stillness that God is found. It’s in the quiet that He is heard more clearly. It’s in serving Him, not my schedule, that a healthy rhythm of daily life is discovered.
Yes, I have tasted and seen what this world brings, and it pales in comparison to the fruit of the Spirit.
Crushed. Yes, I have been. But I wouldn’t change it because I’m emerging from this season as a sweet and tender spirit that knows Him even better than before. He’s the honey poured over my crushed fruit to sweeten it into something truly pleasant to the pallet. He’s the scalding water poured over the coffee grounds of my life, as they lay crushed before me, bringing forth the daily drink of awakening. He makes EVERYTHING beautiful in its time.
Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. Matthew 9:17
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, Your servants, see You work again; let our children see Your glory. And may the Lord our God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful. Psalm 90:15-17