Today’s thought is Crushing. The Garden of Gethsemene is otherwise known as the garden of the olive press. It’s a place of crushing.
Jesus taught about gardens and seeds and soils a lot in his earthly ministry. One of his primary parables was the story about the Seed, or the Sower. But the variable in that story was the Soils. The Seed and the Sower were the same in each of the scenarios of the story. So I think it was really the Parable of the Soils.
What happens to a seed when it finds good ground, good soil, or a good heart to land in. It goes into darkness, deep, alone, and it dies. The seed heats up, it cracks open, and it transforms into something that nourishes and strengthens others.
The crushing that happens in the life of Peter is foretold by Jesus at the Last Supper. Jesus spoke of his imminent suffering and Peter declared that he would go to prison and die for Jesus. But Jesus said Peter would deny him three times before the cock crowed that night. It happened, and Peter was crushed at the realization of who he really was. He was not the man of strength that he boasted he was.
I don’t know if every believer needs to be crushed. But I do believe those who are called to strengthen, and lead others, must go through a crushing. Jesus said that Peter would return after he denies him and then he would need to strengthen his brethren. That is a call to leadership.
Jesus went through severe crushing in the garden, in anguish, which resulted in great drops of blood flowing from his head during his prayer. The crushing of Jesus began in the garden. He resolved to push through in prayer even after an angel came to comfort him.
The call to leadership is a call to be crushed first. May God give you grace if you are called to lead. And remember, after you come to a realization of who you really are, return to God. Come boldly to him for grace to help. And strengthen your brothers and sisters.