Good Morning Ladies (and few gents),
I’m reminded of a lesson I learned recently about the manufacturing process of olive oil. See, I was on a reconnaissance mission. I wanted more knowledge for the 40 Day Sugar Fast kicking off on January 6. By the way, I want to thank those of you who have emailed me to say you’re in. Some of you have already purchased your books. Whoop, whoop! It’s not too late to change your mind and join us. Just saying…
GiG, making olive oil involves several stages of shaking (or beating), crushing, and pressing to extract the oil. The olives are harvested by shaking (or beating) the fruit off the trees. Olives are then washed and crushed to remove the pits.
Back in the day, processors used stone or granite wheels to crush these olives. Today, stainless steel rollers crush the olives and pits and grind them into paste. The paste then undergoes a process in which water is slowly stirred into the paste allowing the tiny oil molecules to clump together and concentrate. The mixture is then stirred. The oil and water later separated.
Olives can be easily bruised at the start of this process. The Holy Spirit reminded me that this is something we can all find ourselves going through too. Our life storms shake us from the tree, causing us to be bruised, we’re then watered by our tears or the tears of others. At this stage we often get it twisted; we think we can handle the shaking (or beating) process. We don’t tell anybody what we’re going through for some reason or another and before we know it—we’ve been crushed. Ah, but if we come to our senses, we cry out to God for help or pick up the phone and call on a friend to intercede in prayer, and when we’re desperately desperate for results, we may even implement a fast. OUCH or Amen!
This is where I want to challenge us all today—recognize that greater is coming. We gain strength by trusting in God. “He wants us to plan the work, then work the plan. Remember plans are futile if the workers fail to do the needed work.”
GiG, during the holidays, working can be futile when there is not a goal in sight. So instead of looking at our pressing as negative, in turn recognize it’s bringing about change, power. God is pulling us through if we keep our eyes fixed on him.
Maybe you woke up this morning shaken, or your weekend has crushed you or someone you love, or maybe you’re already been shaken, crushed and now being pressed. But you haven’t let this stop you. And just like olive oil, we can be lit to light the way.
I’d like to close with this truth I read two weeks ago in the Standard Lesson Commentary, “When we do things motivated by our love for Christ and for others, we are not seeking to earn anything. We are working out the love in our hearts in tangible and helpful ways. We are loving the work and working our love.” (Galatians 5:6)
When we’ve been shaken, crushed and/or pressed but holding firmly to Jesus, we light up. People want to know our secret. They want what we have. Recognize today that God is pulling us all through something and don’t let go.
Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. Exodus 15:6 NASB
Look to the LORD and his strength, seek his face always. Psalm 105:4 NIV
May we be encouraged in knowing that the essentials of the gospel are simple and life-changing!
Called to encourage others so they can thrive,