The Pressing

The sun was barely up and a hint of Fall was in the air.  Geese passed overhead in shifting patterns. The crickets continued chirping their good night song, the air was still and the mist hung. And I began that last walk of vacation.  It had been a week of food, fun, friends, laughter, waves and just God showing up big in Michigan.  This was the final day of our last adventure before number one son headed some 12 hours away to a Military school in Vermont.  My heart was heavy with that “after the holidays” feeling ~ when all your anticipation is spent and the trimmings lie in tatters. 

Part way around the misty lake I found the perfect spot to begin my quiet time.  A wonderful warm rock invited me to sit and watch the business of the lake and the awesomeness of my Creator in action.  As lovely as it all was, I couldn’t shake the heaviness, the looming sadness of the last day of vacation and the future that was poised before me.  In the next week my oldest would be a college freshman and my youngest would begin Middle School and one of my dearest friends would embark upon the toughest chapter of her life.  Change was anything but sweet for me.

My mind had already begun to transition from the tranquil lake setting to my “to do” list which made entering into worship a challenge.  To my left was a pretty purple bush, I bent to sniff it.  Nothing. The feathery branches were soft and lush and inviting to the touch, so I ran my fingers through them gently and sniffed.  Nothing.  I looked again because it looked like lavender.  I thought it should smell.  I pinched off a finger-sized stalk and I rolled it in my hands. Instantly the aroma of lavender burst forth and immersed me in a cloud of delightful fragrance.  Of course, I thanked my Creator and with the lavender in my hand I continued around the lake.

The more I pressed the purple flowers, the stronger the smell became.  I walked and prayed as the lavender wafted and when it waned, I pressed harder. As I prayed I felt God showing me that many of his beautiful creations only become beautiful or useful in the pressing.  Olives, Grapes and even apples become even more of blessing when pressed.

Recently I was reading about flax seeds and while they are healthy to digest and act as fiber, it is only when they are crushed or pressed that the hard hulls release their powerful Omega – 3 ‘s.

My sweet son is going to be pressed as he faces the rigorous challenges of military life.  My (sometimes) sweet redhead is going to be pressed into her public school experience with new friends, new teachings and ideas that are in opposition to what she’s known.  And I will be pressed in dealing with a dear friend who is being wrung out by the choices of her mate. 

My prayer is that in the pressing, may the true beauty and purpose of the Lord be revealed in our lives.  That enduring the pressing can bring a sweet aroma to those around and they will see Jesus in us.

Point to Ponder:  Are you being pressed, does it feel like you are bearing more than you can stand? My prayer is that the aroma, the fruit of that pressing, though you can’t see it now, will be a sweet aroma to someone who desperately needs immersed in HIS delightful fragrance.

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