In The Crushing
“When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible man and crushes Him” - Alan Redpath
Since the beginning of time, God has been creating light from darkness. His first action in creation is “let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Before anything existed, light had to be present and God declared the light “good.”
Imagine human life existing without light. It would be impossible. Light comes from the sun and the moon and the stars, but what about when clouds cover the sky and it’s completely dark? Man learned to make our own light by burning and crushing. In ancient times, light came from oil. The Israelites would use a small clay bowl with a pinched edge as a lamp to hold oil. One side of the wick would be inserted into the oil, then threaded through and supported by the pinched edge and lit at the other side. After God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God instructed them, through Moses, to build a tabernacle in the wilderness. The tabernacle would be the dwelling place of God and the high priest, Aaron, and his sons were the care takers of the tabernacle. They sacrificed offerings, made atonement for sin, gave thanks to God and served as a liaison between the people of Israel and the One True God. One of their jobs was to keep the tabernacle lamp burning at all times. The tabernacle was positioned in the center of the twelve tribes of Israel, so no matter where they were camped, the Israelites could look at the tabernacle, see the light and be reminded that God was with them. Light represented the presence of God. To keep the lamp burning day and night, Moses asks the Israelites to bring pure, beaten olive oil to the priests. The olive had to be beaten, pressed and crushed multiple times in order to produce the oil for the lamp. The first pressing was done by hand and produced the purest oil that was used in the temple menorah and for anointing. The second pressing produced oil for food and the third and final pressing produced oil for daily use of the lamps. The olive had to go through three rounds of pressing, but without the crushing, there would be no oil and without oil, there would be no light. The hardest thing the olive had to endure held the greatest holy potential. The olive held the light that reminded God’s people of His presence.
The Old Testament promises more than just light, powered by oil, as a representation of God but tells of the coming of the “light” of salvation and “light” of God. In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus was beaten and ultimately crushed on the cross. He came to give believers the presence of God in Himself and through the Holy Spirit. His sacrifice gives us the greatest gift - the light, or the presence, of God. He is the true light that brings the very presence of God into a dark world. Instead of dwelling inside the tabernacle or temple, God dwelled among us when Jesus came. His greatest hardship became our greatest hope. In Paul’s letter to the believers in Ephesus he says, “now you are light in the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8). Through the power of the Spirit, we are given the gift of having the very presence of God, the light of God, dwell in us. We get to participate in faithfully allowing God to illuminate the truth of the Gospel through us. However, more often than not, the brightest light is produced in the darkest crushing. The pressing is never comfortable, it is, in fact, extremely painful. Just like the crushing of the olive isn’t its end, the pain in our lives is often the beginning to what is most scared and valuable in the Kingdom of God.
Four years ago we experienced the greatest crushing in our lives. I held Will, only 96 days old, in my arms as he took his last breath. I still cannot describe the devastation. I have never felt so much heartbreak, hopelessness, confusion and sadness. It was completely crushing. But God. Through the pressing, through the heartbreak, through the complete and total crushing, He made light. We will never stop being heartbroken that Will is not here on Earth with us and we will always wish we could have seen him grow up, but I am thankful for the way God took the brokenness and made it beautiful. I am thankful that He did not leave us in our sorrow and grief but created a purpose from it, a way to glorify Him and share the Good News of the Gospel with children and families from all over the world. He meant it for good. He made a way when it seemed impossible. He has always been faithful. He has always been good, even and especially in the crushing.
3/6/2022 05:23:33 pm
You will always inspire me with your faith and hope. I’m so proud of you, the woman I have had the privilege of watching you grow into.
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My name is Courtney Hughes and I am Will's mommy. I am happy that you are here to read Will's story and make a difference with us!