I never thought I would still be pressing in, pressing through and just plain being pressed. It’s funny how people come up with all these comparisons of being “pressed”, “crushed” or “stretched” but do they really understand the process? Could it be in our comparisons, we may be over simplifying such a complex and painful process? I understand that it is so much easier to make light of it so as to not face the reality. Honestly, when we are in the wine press, it is not a pleasant experience. It is painful, gory and scary. I’ve been here for way too long now. I thought for sure it would be a couple of months and pow something beautiful and transformed would emerge. It didn’t. As each day passes, I am surprised to still be here. Surprised to see that when I thought I could no longer be stretched one bit more, I found myself stretching. It’s been remarkable that I have even been able to keep sane. Many times, in the wine press the pain has been excruciating but more painful has been the silence. The deafening silence. Silence so loud, it hurts. I haven’t been able to get used to that regardless how much time passes. I am very aware that there IS something taking place deep inside of me. A change I could not reverse no matter how hard I try. A change of eternal value. A change in my character, in my mindset, in my viewing others and situations. I can clearly see I have not left any portion of this season without being transformed. Almost like a caterpillar going into the cocoon. You just see it one day all snug in there, seemingly unchanged as time passes by. All along inside this shell that appears to be motionless, there are amazing changes taking place. Radical changes are taking place but not in front of the naked eye. Then one day, a day nobody expects, this cocoon bursts open to find a beautiful butterfly emerge. The butterfly can not compare in any way to the caterpillar that it once was. It is no longer bound to walking on its legs but free to fly wherever it likes. Not only able to explore a whole new world and view it from a completely different perspective but, to showcase the beauty it obtained while in the plain, ordinary and listless cocoon. No matter how much it would like to, the butterfly can not revert back to a caterpillar. The change it has experienced is irreversible. They are two completely different things now.
I too can not go back to being who I was before this season started. It’s impossible, I do not view things the same way, I can not. I believe this was intentional on God’s part. He created a season that would produce character in me. Would produce good fruit in me. Would allow me to see things in myself I wasn’t aware were there. Good and bad things. Things to be strengthened and things to be discarded. I can’t tell you yet what kind of butterfly emerges yet as I am still in the cocoon. It’s dry, it dark, its quiet but its transformational.
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.