Value In The Crushing

I wasn’t there, but I’ve been hearing some amazing things about the message Chuck Swindoll brought at Catalyst 2009.  My friend Justin Davis blogged about the message and his application of it in his post “Benefits Of Brokenness part 2.” which is where I first heard about it.  Swindoll says,

“When God has an impossible task to accomplish, he finds and impossible person and crushes them. So leave room in your life for the crushing. Leave room for the crushing. In every great work of God, brokenness and failure are necessary.”

It’s quite interesting to me that for all the talk about wanting to “be like Jesus” that goes on in most church and “christian” circles these days, nobody wants to suffer.  We all say we want God’s will for our lives, but have somehow become entitled and convinced that surely said “will of God” for us individually is chock full of blessing, favor, increase, promotion and all those other christianese buzz words we love to throw around.  If anything looks as if it will challenge “our rights” to the aforementioned blessing, favor, increase or promotion, then it must be “the devil.” It seems that in our feverish pursuit of the “favor”-laden “will of God” for our lives we have somehow forgotten that the will of God for Jesus was the cross.

I’ve heard it said on more than one occasion by a preacher that while Jesus certainly died on the cross physically, it was actually in the Garden of Gethsemane where he died to his will, where he was crushed, which paved the way to the cross.  In Luke 2:42 we even see Jesus at great odds with what his flesh wanted and his destiny, ultimately choosing to surrender his will and embrace the will of the Father.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Out of curiosity, because I like to cook and I’m a geek like that, I’ve been doing some research on how olive oil is made.  It’s quite an interesting and involved process.  What intrigued me to the point of this research was the price of olive oil at the store.  I didn’t understand how olives could be so relatively cheap, but even a medium sized bottle of quality olive oil is actually quite costly.

In my research, I have found that there are many uses, even apart from cooking, for olive oil.  Olives themselves have a lot of culinary uses, but it is the oil that is most valuable.  Even for as many uses as the olive has, it is actually more valuable after having been crushed, processed and reduced to an oil.

Cost and value are two very different things. In fact, what something “cost” me versus the “value” of that thing can often differ greatly.  Cost versus value will be perceived differently based on which side of the process I am standing on.  I cannot escape the spiritual application of that fact, and it has been ringing in my heart loudly.

So, what is the cost of olive oil?  Who are you asking?  It may cost me $12.99, but ask the olive.  It cost the olive everything.

There is a value produced by the crushing of the olive that would have never been realized if left in it’s initial state.  If the olive were able to feel and speak, I am sure it would testify that the crushing is extremely painful… being torn apart, gutted, dying to what it used to be, letting go of what people expect it to look like, releasing the real value on the inside. I wonder if the olive would confess to feeling like perhaps it had failed as an olive, being broken and not knowing why, not yet understanding that what was happening was necessary in order to get the greater purpose out of its existence.

And so it is with your life.  There is a such a significant value produced by the crushing of your life that would never have been realized it is were left in it’s original inflated state.  And yes, it is painful… dying to your former self, letting go of what you used to be, rebuilding, embracing the greater purpose in your existence, but knowing that it comes only through brokenness and what will likely feel like failure.

God loves your “olive”, but he wants your “oil.”

You want the will of God for your life? Leave room for the crushing.

Are you leaving room in your life for the crushing?


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34 comments
CheskaFaith
CheskaFaith

Thank you. I needed this after a long 2 weeks of, "Why me?"

Randy Kinnick
Randy Kinnick

Great post!! I was thinking through this idea of how we have Americanized the gospel to rid it of suffering just today. I am writing a post on why we suffer. These are great thoughts. Thanks for sharing and reminding me that suffering is a part of what God uses to make us who He wants us to be.

Manda
Manda

I have come back several times to read this... over and over.
This is exactly where I'm at ~ being crushed and broken by the Holy Spirit.
Love this post so much!
Letting the oil flow,
~Manda
My recent post A time to Taste the Honey...

JD in Canada
JD in Canada

One of the BEST posts I have read on any Christian blogs this year... such exquisitely expressed truths.

I love your heart.
My recent post Heart of Compassion

Jessica
Jessica

Great post Grant. I needed to read this! And it just inspired a blog :)

JuliaKate
JuliaKate

"...embracing the greater purpose in your existence, but knowing that it comes only through brokenness and what will likely feel like failure." yep. yep. and yep.
as a fellow connoisseur of olive oil and even all things Olive, i know that each type of olive produces a different variety of oil and there are even different processes that bring about different flavours and refinement. i think that one of the reasons we get nervous about the crushing, besides the "crushing" part, is we may feel that our "identity & individuality" will be compromised in the process. "i was a lovely olive, ready to be stuffed with pancetta, or pimento, or garlic, or cheese, but then i was crushed and blended with the other olives and it's like i no longer exist." being crushed and blended can very much look like failure, but a refined olive oil is worth much more to a master chef than one beautiful olive, perfectly stuffed with havarti & pancetta. hmm... it's tough to let go, but i'll take the crushing.
good stuff as always sir.
My recent post “Be aware and be afraid..be very afraid.”

ChandlerWH
ChandlerWH

Love it dude. Especially loved this:

I’ve heard it said on more than one occasion by a preacher that while Jesus certainly died on the cross physically, it was actually in the Garden of Gethsemane where he died to his will, where he was crushed, which paved the way to the cross.

A great picture of dying to what is to come and not to what has already happened.

Becky Miller
Becky Miller

This is, overall, what I have learned in the past year: The Value in the Crushing. Thanks for this reminder that it's worth it.

I was thinking a few days ago about both some pain I've experienced and my desire to go to the nations, and praying about what God is calling me to do when I "GO." Isaiah 61 came to mind, particularly "to bind up the brokenhearted." And the breaking I've experienced suddenly made sense - how can I bind up the broken hearted if I've never healed from a broken heart?

JennyRain
JennyRain

As always - love your posts... This one was particularly Pastoral. Hmmm.... <grin>

And scriptural
Isaiah 28:28: Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it. (God knows EXACTLY the tool He will use with each type of "grain" to create the "perfect crush" for it to do its work)

John 12:24: I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (Death always produces life)

So friend... are you feeling like the olive today? Know I am praying for you!

My recent post First Anniversary Hangover

faithbookjesus
faithbookjesus

It's amazing and how much brokenness I've experienced in the past year, and it's posts like this that remind me why I'm doing what I'm doing. Thanks!

Chelsea
Chelsea

Such an amazing post, Grant. I was blown away! Just speechless...

Patty
Patty

You're speaking my language there, brother. I'm going through an addiction crushing right now that's not so great or easy for me. But, it'll be great for God! I hope that God's mercy, grace and love will shine through my darkness to bring others closer to Him...because that's what life's about.

Makeda
Makeda

Grant, I loved this post and it was so timely for me. Exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts today.

Blake Bergstrom
Blake Bergstrom

that is a great post. thanks for taking the time to jot that down. i have recently walked through a similar teaching that we learned at Catalyst this year. i hope that you are enjoying the process of being crushed...losing your past identity..and embracing this wild journey that God has got you on!

Sincerely,

Blake

ABOwens
ABOwens

Your post is brilliant and spot on. I took a "crushing" about 8 months ago and have not looked back. Realizing how huge God is and how beautiful surrender can be has been truly amazing! I love the song 24 by Switchfoot..."I'm not who I thought I was, 24 hours ago..." God is no Santa Claus, but deliver the goods he does!! In such an awesome paradoxical way...

JasonWert
JasonWert

From the perspective of this human olive, you're right on the money with this post. It's only been very recently (as in the last week or so) that God's really given me the chance to look through the long range lens at the last ten years. I was so focused on the things that crushed (addiction, drove from ministry, divorce, miscarriages, fires, betrayal, abuse of my kids, etc.) and didn't realize all of those things were being used by God to prepare me for something else.

When God tapped me on the shoulder and said to look back...I saw a restored and better relationship with my parents than I ever had before the crushing, a new wife and daughter who love me, a great church where I can appreciate the genuine nature of the leadership, lessons on how to treat (and not treat) people, growth in kindness, sympathy, compassion & a refocus on what Jesus REALLY said and did...and a look at a future where He is opening doors for the thing I've wanted to become since I was a kid. ALL of that wouldn't have happened without the crushing He had to do in me.

I'm not saying it was fun. It sucked. Sucked hard. Sucked like a swimming pool vacuum pump hard. However, it was the only way for him to crush this impossible person. Thank God he did.

Great post, bro.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

You are very right, Randy. We have. Thank you for your comments, dude. I really appreciate it.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thank you for your comments, Manda. Glad you were able to connect with what I wrote. Saying a prayer for you today.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

You are very kind, JD. God bless you and thank you for the encouragement, bro!

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

thought I replied to this, guess not. :) Glad it inspired you!

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

awesome context! You are right about the identity and individuality part. I thought about that after I wrote the blog. There is something about dying to ME, losing your rights to YOU that is painful. I love your comment, as always, my friend! :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

You're right and that's a great point. I don't think I had ever thought of it that way. Dying to what is to come. I'm going to dig deeper into that one. Thanks bro!

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

WOW!!! Now, THAT is amazing insight. Thank you for sharing that, Becky!

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Eeeks! Pastoral?? Not sure what I think about that. ;)

Yeah, feeling a lot like the olive a lot lately. Thank you so much for your encouragement, prayers and those scriptures. What amazing reminders of how God works.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Wow! Coming from you that is such an amazing compliment. Thank you Renee. I am so glad this post encouraged you, my friend!

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks for your kind words, Chelsea. I really appreciate that.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Wow, Patty. Thank you for sharing that. Saying a prayer for you tonight.

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks, Makeda. I'm glad this spoke to you. :)

Grant Jenkins
Grant Jenkins

Thanks so much for your comments, Blake. Honestly, I wouldn't say that I am "enjoying" this a whole lot, but I am certainly "embracing" it. There are times when I do choose to "count it all joy" because I know that this is working something far greater in my life than I can see right now. But "enjoying" is not really in the picture. :)

Grant
Grant

I love that song, too. It's a great picture of a lot of this process. Thanks bro. So glad you're digging the blog.

Grant
Grant

Wow, thank you for sharing that, Jason. Our stories and experiences are relative, but I can certain relate. You're right, the "crushing" sucks. But it produces something valuable and beautiful. Praise God that he is merciful to allow the crushing. Wow, what a concept, huh?

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Value In The Crushing