I was intrigued by the title of this chapter. I remember when I was little I'd "threaten" my parents that they were being unfair and I was going to run away. I may have once...to a little tiny area in the yard across the street. Needless to say, I wasn't gone long and could have been found easily.
At times, rejection makes us want to run away and hide. The reality is...running away won't fix anything. Other people and circumstances also can't fix it. I am challenged by the quote in the picture above, " 'People can't fix from the outside a perspective that needs to rewired on the inside.' Only the Lord can do that". Wow...that is definitely the truth.
Lysa shares some information about the process an olive tree must go through to be fruitful. She shares how these crushing times are necessary times, processing times and are preservation times.
Olive trees, in order to be fruitful need both the harsh, dry winds from the east and also the rain and life-giving winds from the west. Even though I may not enjoy the harsh winds, I have realized in my journey that the hard times in my life have brought me closer to Jesus and then the seasons of refreshing have come to bring more growth and some much-needed relief and rest.
Olives are naturally bitter and must go through a lengthy process of washing, breaking, soaking, sometimes salting and waiting. It is a time of being "cured". At times, I need to be "cured" of my natural tendency of selfishness and reminded of Whose I am. I also need that time to soak in His love so I can give it out to others.
The best way to preserve an olive for the long haul is to crush it and preserve the oil. The oil is the most valuable part. Mary poured her oil (worth a year's wages) on the feet of Jesus. That was extravagant love. I have felt crushed at times. For instance, when we lost our twin daughters at 32 weeks of pregnancy. It took several years to move away from the feeling of crushing to see any oil that could be poured out and useful to others. However, as God has healed from that crushing, we have shared our story and have allowed God to use the fragrance and the healing power of Him to spill over to others.
I love this verse from 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 "But thank God! He has made us His captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God."
Jesus is in the business of rewiring our minds and hearts through the crushing times.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (The Voice) " I will plant a new heart and new spirit inside of you. I will take out your stubborn, stony heart and give you a willing, tender heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit inside of you and inspire you to live by My statutes and follow My laws."
Don't run away. Don't turn to other people. Don't focus on the crushing or the hardships rather, have the thought that "On the other side of every hardship is a resurrection." In the resurrection is the healing, the wholeness and the offering of our lives to be a fragrant offering to Jesus. Run straight into His arms!
Links to the other posts in this "Uninvited" Series.