Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 6 of Lent :: Crushed

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow.”
(Mark 14:34)

Just as olives and grapes were crushed by a heavy slab of stone to release the oil or juice within them, Jesus experienced a similar crushing in His own soul.  At Gethsemane, Jesus surrendered all that He was to the Father’s perfect will.  This process of surrendering often produces in us what the Bible refers to as brokenness. Brokenness is simply an active yielding and voluntary surrendering of all that we are to God. While we may never agonize to the point of sweating blood, we are called to live fully surrendered to the Father.  As we surrender to Him and allow the hardened shells of our souls to be squeezed and broken, we, like pressed olives or crushed grapes, become useful to the Master’s use.
Oswald Chambers writes, “God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, ‘If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn't object!’ But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed—you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.”
Chambers concludes his thoughts on brokenness by asking the following questions: “I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you?  Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped?”
Reflection: How do you respond when God begins to squeeze areas of your soul that have yet to be transformed into His likeness?  Are you presently experiencing circumstances that are less than desirable?  Ask God to show you how He is using these situations and relationships to transform you into His image and build character within you.
Prayer: “Lord, I know that you are for me and not against me. Therefore, I trust that the squeezing of Your hand is for my own good. In the areas of my soul where I am resistant to You, help me to see the depth of Your love – even there.”

“There is no one more beautiful than one who is broken.”[i]
~Watchman Nee

[i] Watchman Nee, The Release of the Spirit, 17.

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