In the Crushing

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A few days ago I had a dear friend explain to me the difference between “pruning” & “crushing”… & the difference is important to understand.

What she said was such a timely word.

Pruning (with the Lord) is more of a partnership. Saying, “yes Lord, I see what you want to cut out, trim up, and I want to do that too.” I like to think of pruning as a practical thing, something that could be done every day & your heart is still left intact.

Crushing is much more invasive. It’s painful & heavy. It is the process of literally pushing out, the pressing down of your heart… hopes, expectations, pain, hurt, anger, confusion… all of it pouring out to emptiness. It feels like a restart; an intense process of forming a pure heart.

It’s just like the song “New Wine.”

{In the crushing, in the pressing, you are making new wine… cause where there is new wine, there is new power. There is new freedom, and the kingdom is here. I lay down my old flames to carry your new fire today.}

Matthew 9:17 says, “and who would pour fresh, new wine into an old wineskin? Eventually the wine will ferment and make the wineskin burst, losing everything- the wine is spilled and the wineskin ruined. Instead, new wine is always poured into a new wineskin so that they are both persevered.”

Why is this word so timely?

Josh recently lost his job. We have been in MI for a little over a year & a half… our campus was shut down with a 2 week notice & members scattered throughout different campuses.

The pain has been deep.

Trying desperately to cling to the words Jesus spoke to us over 2 years ago, believing them to be true… fighting with the lie that the Lord never called us here… questioning why the Lord told me ‘it was ok to feel settled here’… wanting to isolate… wanting to hang onto anger… afraid to dream… just afraid, period.

This is not a pruning season. This is a crushing season.

It is invasive & cleansing.

The Lord is asking me to come face to face with deep doubt, betrayal, hurt, anger, confusion, unforgiveness, fear…

pressing, pushing it all out.

Bit by bit, thought by thought, feeling by feeling..

Because a new season, new dreams cannot be placed in a heart that is full of the old season & broken hopes… weathered & worn, conflicted.

My heart would “burst”…nothing would thrive or grow or be preserved. Anything good would be poisoned, “losing everything…”

So I see the Lord holding out His hand, saying it’s time. It’s time to purge… it’s time to let go, it’s time to forgive, it’s time to move on, it’s time for joy, to rejoice.

He is kind. He is gentle, but He is persistent because He knows what is before me… a far greater step of faith than I know.

& the prerequisite: a pure heart

A heart that SEES GOD… that sees into His heart, His longing, His devotion to us, His miracles, His glory.

I have journaled what I know to be TRUE about our current situation… trying to keep emotion out of it. I have asked the Lord what & whom I need to forgive… written out what I am afraid of…

Even those small steps felt like a much needed vomit after having an upset stomach for too long. (Ya feel??)

Next: some heart therapy

*Coming to terms with what happened- that it happened & it is ok.

*Literally speaking out forgiveness- taking each circumstance or person to the feet of Jesus & leaving them/it there.

*Claiming the authority of Jesus- fear has no power, what I am afraid of is only a reflection of my weakness not a reflection of the power of Jesus.

*Thanksgiving- breathing deep the goodness of Jesus 

“So make me a vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever you want me to be. I came here with nothing, but all you have given me. Jesus bring new wine out of me.”

 

 

Abbi Jackson is a wife and a girl mama of a 14 month old, with one due in November! She currently resides in Detroit, MI, where she leads worship and stays at home with her babies. She loves to write, drink lots of chai tea, listen to Indie music, and spend time with the people she loves. She prefers the mountains over the beach, Mexican food always, and her dream job would be to become a birth Doula.