Have you ever experienced a devastating circumstance in your life? At one time or another, we all go through trials that attempt to crush us, squeeze us, bruise us, or set us on fire. Though these difficulties strike us, many times their impact will bring beauty out of chaos, if we allow it.
Some things only achieve their greatest design through crushing blows…
*The squeezing of grapes produces sweet wine.
*The pressing of olives extracts their delectable oil.
*Only when wheat is ground is it useful for making bread.
*The crushing of flower petals releases their oil for fragrance.
*Incense is useless – its purpose not fulfilled, its odors not set free – unless touched by fire.
*Only through great pressure, heat, and time does coal produce the gemstone of a diamond.
Just as many things of nature suffer contrary conditions in order to be expanded, strengthened, or enhanced, so, too, do we. Some circumstances only achieve God’s greatest purpose in our lives through pressure and crushing, through tears and suffering, allowing the pleasing fragrance of obedience and sweet graces of God’s will to be released.
But during these trying situations, how do we behave? Do we whine, kick, scream, question God or tell Him it isn’t fair? Or do we succumb to the Lord’s power to work, bow to His divine purpose, and submit our will to His, offering praise from lips of thanksgiving? Which behavior do you believe is the sweet aroma in His nostrils?
How did God’s children of the Bible react when they experienced bruising, crushing, or fires? Granted, some, such as Israel, were whiners. However, the Bible is filled with the accounts of great trust.
One is Paul. Of the multitude of afflictions he experienced, he said, “We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for He can even raise the dead. And He did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes, and we expect Him to do it again and again.” (2 Cor. 1:8-10 TLB)
Another is the Three Amigos. You know, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. While they were in the fiery furnace, they believed their God would deliver them, and, even if He didn’t deliver them, they believed He would save them from Nebuchadnezzar.
As those flames lapped up around them, God rescued them and, when they came out, not even the smell of smoke clung to them. Their sweet aroma of faith was not changed.
Did you know God has sensitive sinuses? He anticipates our fragrance long before we emit it. So, during those times of adversity, do we present Him with a pleasant aroma in His nostrils or a stench stuck in His throat? Are we like Estee Lauder’s Beautiful perfumery or a men’s locker room? Like a flower shop or a machine shop? Like a bakery or a fertilizer plant?
Are our trust and faith as that sweet aroma of the alabaster passion box, lovingly poured upon Jesus’ head, which seeped into His beard and gently trickled down upon His shoulders, saturating His garment?
Prayer: Lord, may my life be broken open as a precious passion box, poured out to You.
May each burden of my life work as a weight to crush my disobedience, my instability to stand on Your word, and my inability to be used of You.
Crush me as the flower petals are compressed for their fragrant perfume. Crush me as the olives are squeezed for their valuable oil. Crush me and make my life into that delectable wine.
Let my life overflow with the sweet-scented oil of Your Holy Spirit, poured forth upon the hearts of others to soothe the hurts that the trials of this world have etched into their precious lives.
I pray that the things crushing each reader’s life right now will only work to bring out the precious fragrance of obedience and sweet graces of Your will. Amen!