The previous post described what a crushing is. Chuck Swindoll said,
“When God has an impossible task to accomplish, he finds an 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.”
After post 1, I received a lot of messages in regards to how much this subject resonated with people. I appreciate all the great comments and stories. Keep them coming. I would encourage more people to post via the comment section on this Blog sight instead of sending me personal emails because the comments you sent via email would be so helpful to others. I figure if I can be this transparent with my circumstances, thoughts, and ideas…you can too. Right? So publicly post your stuff on here and let God use it for others.
After receiving all the comments, I couldn’t sleep last night and began to think more about breaking this topic of Crushing down a bit more. So…the following are some more ideas about this Crushing topic.
I think there are levels of Crushing. I mentioned in the previous post that if you have to guess if whether or not you have been through a crushing, then you have not been through one. They are unmistakable. They are not just painful, they are crushing, humiliating, and leave you broken and humbled. Many people think they are going through a crushing, but all God is doing with them is pruning them. So…I want to use the rest of this post to think out loud about levels of pain/pruning and crushing.
DISCLAIMER: Before you jump into my nicely organized pain guide below…please be aware…the points below are lacking something. They are lacking the ultimate reason as to WHY. I warn people to never ask WHY bad things happen…because I’m pretty confident we will rarely get the explanation. If we do get an explanation, it is usually followed with another why question. So…I preface what I’m about to say with this. Sometimes bad just happens because the devil is alive and well and evil exists in a strong way. If you get caught up in the world of why…you are going to find yourself in a very dark place. The best question to ask is not “why”, but “now what Jesus?”
The following is a breakdown of 3 types of pain. Any of them could be used for your crushing that you are leaving room for according to post 1 of 2.
ONE. Self Inflicted Trials (SIT)
A self inflicted trial can be a crushing. But it’s very rare. Nearly an endangered species. Usually the SIT is simply painful pruning. A SIT is simply what some might call “The School of Hard Knocks.” It could be simple foolishness, immaturity, sticking your foot in your mouth…or plain and simple, just learning the hard way. Jeremiah 7:19 in the Bible God says, ” Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the Lord. “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.”
I think I may have these daily! LOL In fact…we all do. I pray we all would lighten up a little with these and learn how to laugh at ourselves a little bit more, swallow some humility and work on being better today than I was yesterday.
The Self Inflicted Trial is really self hurt. If you find yourself in this kind of pain or trial then I encourage you to do what the acronym says. Sit! You need a holy sit. Stop your mind from going a thousand miles per hour. Ponder. Reflect. Ask yourself what you could have done differently. Repent to God for your own infliction. Forgive yourself and don’t repeat the self inflicted trial again. The best way to avoid SIT’s in the future is to continually fill yourself with the Holy Spirit, read the wisdom of Scripture, and obey it.
I think as we age and spiritually mature…we will have fewer SIT in our lives.
TWO. Maturity Anticipated Trial (MAT)
This is where the true crushing begins. I want to be clear…MAT is not always for the purpose of maturing…but can always be used towards maturity. A MAT only happens to the obedient in Jesus Christ. The perfect examples in the Bible are Job and Jesus. The MAT is something you choose. That’s why some of you haven’t had a MAT yet. That’s why Chuck Swindoll said to leave room in your life for the Crushing. A MAT is chosen. A MAT is anticipated. A MAT is an act of obedience! And it’s just how God made creation and how He designed it to improve. Some would argue that Job didn’t choose his MAT. Yes he did. He obeyed. When you obey the holy promptings of a dangerous God, you will have a MAT, sooner or later. In the previous post I referenced Gold, Swords, Diamonds and Wine. These all must be crushed, broken down or experience friction to improve. The MAT is one that you sense God prompting you towards. You anticipate it. You see can see it coming! I have shared details about my MAT/Crushing over the past few blogs. I knew they were coming. It all starts with a prompting from God to pursue the unknown, the impossible or to give up your comforts. When God starts prompting like this, the hearer can begin to anticipate a MAT/crushing coming. This is terrifying. It takes courage and total trust in God to move into a MAT! As I am spiritually being matured through this crushing that I believe is about to end, I am pretty sure that I could face another crushing with more Joy. I only say that as I look back over the past very dark nearly 3 years. If I could do it over again…I would have just smiled more and worried less. I would have submitted more through humility and joy. This can actually be backed up with Scripture.
The Bible say in James 1:2-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
That last passage could be translated, “When God turns the heat up on our lives, He never takes His hand off the thermostat!”
What do you do when facing a MAT? I recommend that you get a cushioned MAT and take it out to a quiet and lonely place regularly, get on your knees , and on that MAT… pray for strength, pray for growth, pray for understanding, pray for perseverance, study the scripture about pain and the promises of God. Earlier I said that somebody going through a MAT is an obedient follower of Jesus…so…this means you are plugged into a local Church. So…during your MAT…however long your MAT lasts…lean hard on the family and friendships you have with the people who care about you. Don’t feel bad about this leaning. This leaning is a gift to others. Never take somebody’s joy of giving away. If there are holy people in your life through that local church, God placed them in your life for this very moment. Anyway…if they are mature believers in Christ too…their personal MAT is coming sooner or later(if they leave room for it) and you will be able to be there for them at that time. So…if you are facing a MAT…go get your mat to keep the knee calluses from forming too quickly…and persevere! You can do all things through Jesus who gives you strength. Keep asking…”now what Lord?” Keep asking…”How would you have me behave now Lord?”
THREE: Punishment Intended Trial. (PIT)
A PIT is simply this. You were evil and you are getting nailed for it! This is just your harsh reality, and like a good parent disciplines their child, so God, the Perfect Father, is discipling you. If you are in a PIT right now and that previous sentence just ticked you off…how is that working for you? Accept that you deserve your PIT. Humble yourself and accept the discipline that is being delivered. Is that too harsh? I don’t think its harsh, just clear.
Revelation 3:19 says, ” I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
If you are in a PIT because of evil you committed in this life…that means you have been digging a hole and you are stuck in it. What should you do? STOP DIGGING! Give up. Stop running from God. Repent. RISE! Get your eyes back on your creator. Submit to His discipline. Surrender your heart to holiness and your God will stop the discipline and draw you into Himself and love on you and tell you how much you matter to Him and how Grateful He is to have you back. Confess to those you have hurt. Beg their forgiveness. Change your life.
The perfect story to relate to this is the Prodigal Son story. When is the last time you read it? Click hear if you would like to pause from this blog and be taken to the Bible story about the prodigal son. The story is found in the Bible in Luke 15:11-32. Pay attention to the son’s PIT. He was literally eating pig slop when he realized he was in his PIT.
1 John 1:9 in the Bible says, But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
If you are stuck in a PIT…you can’t get out yourself. You are going to have to forgive those who hurt you and maybe they will throw you a rope to help you out of the PIT. If they are too hurt to help you, then pray to God that they would at least contact someone who can help you out of your PIT. If you have nobody to call, I will help you or connect you with someone who can. My cell phone number is 623-628-1400, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please know that I have a personal policy that I created that prevents me from spending any time on the phone, texting, internet chatting or personally meeting with anyone of the opposite sex without a 3rd party present. Sadly, that policy, due to the world changing, is probably going to have to expand to those of the same sex too. But I will help you.
They are real. I hope that helps you determine where you are at in your crushing/pain or pruning phases of your life.
The main thing…let the pain improve you!
You are loved. Keep your head up.
What about crushing that wasn’t self inflicted or chosen? It simply happens? Like a girl losing her fiancé to a car wreck 3 weeks after they’re engaged? A mother burying her only child? An 8 year old boy being killed by an ATV? A senior in high school being killed by a reckless driver? How do you explain these crushings? These are the ones I can not seem to make sense of and they are gut wrenching. I know that we live in a world that is completely out of whack with the perfect place God intended us to be. I know that one day things will be made right. I just can’t seem to reconcile why some are saved from this pain while others aren’t. How does God chose which person makes a full recovery from a brain injury and which one dies weeks after proposing? This unexpected, unwarranted, gut wrenching crushing is something that doesn’t seem to make any sense to me right now and I am wrestling with my salvation in a way I never have.