Have you ever seen an olive tree?

You probably wouldn’t even recognize it in a lineup.  

They are short and stout, the leaves are silvery green and oblong, the trunk is typically gnarled and twisted, and its flowers are small and white.  You can technically eat an olive straight off the tree, but they are very bitter and not palatable.  There are, however many different things that can be made from the fruit of an olive after they are harvested, but probably the most common way it is made is oil.  There are artisan olive oil companies that are generations old. I got to visit one on a trip to Italy several years back.  The gentleman was very proud of his olive oil.

I had to look up the process of making olive oil.  First, the olives are harvested and separated by plumpness, ripeness, and overall quality.  Then the olives are rinsed in cold water.  They are then mashed into a pulp, and finally, the mash is placed on a press to separate the oil from the water in the olive.  It can be enjoyed and used with no other processing.  

The Holy Spirit reminded me of the process that we go through in life for those who are in Christ. Acts 14:22 tells us that it is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God.  The word ‘trouble’ means to disturb, agitate, or stir up.  Is God stirring in your heart right now?  Is there something in your life that you feel is being disturbed?  Are you agitated about a situation?

Those olives have a purpose to be a sweet oil for us to eat.  It was necessary for it to go through many processes to get to the best it can be to become.  When we go through troubled times, we are getting processed into what Christ wants us to be.

Do you want to go through life like a bitter, ripe olive that people dislike; or would you instead like to become a fragrant, desired oil that people enjoy having in their lives?   Will you let Jesus turn your “oLIVE”  into the best it can be?

I challenge you to open yourself up and let God do His processing of you.  This may be painful, but it is necessary.  I pray that you let Christ pick, mash, and squeeze you so that you look more like Him!  

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