Pressing In

Pressing In

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14).

 


It’s an old truck that has been in the family for over fifteen years now, passed down through the hands of a father to his son, to his daughter, to her son, and then to another one of her sons. Four generations of a family have sat behind the wheel of this ’93 Chevy pick-up truck.

The world would level its worth as little more than scrap metal—old and washed up and one step away from a junk yard’s grave. But to my family, well, we level its worth a bit higher. Not because of its beauty, but rather because of its bloodlines. This truck originated with my Grandpa Al. He would only drive it a year before he passed away. My father then took ownership of it for several years until my eldest son was eligible to drive.

It seemed reasonable that he be allowed this “junker” to serve as his training ground for better things … better rides down the road. It did and has now been passed onto his younger brother who has given our treasured piece of family history a good and steady workout. Through all generations, the truck has been faithful to render its services whenever and wherever needed.

So what does one do with this faithful servant who’s been…

driven hard,
regularly neglected,
taken for granted,
looked upon with little regard,

until finally an accident causes its bumper to be pried away from the frame? What does one do with a fifteen year old vehicle that’s logged in over 100,000 miles, whose air-condition no longer works, and who hardly seems worthy of an expensive repair?


What do you do with an old faithful truck that’s in need of some servicing, even though the bank account dictates otherwise? I’ll tell you what you do.

You press it into an old faithful tree—one that can absorb the shock and that can realign the bumper back alongside its original frame.


It may not be picture perfect, but the tree coupled with the willing obedience to “press in”, yields a drivable vehicle that will service this family for a season longer, perhaps even a generation somewhere down the road.


As it is with our truck, so it is with me; perhaps, even with you.

What do we do when our frames begin to show the weary of a hard drive? A regular neglect? A taking for granted? A little regard for our necessary when so much more is needed?

What do we do when an accident pries our hearts away from the original frame—the Author of our frames? How do we respond when we know that a heart’s servicing is necessary, but when the bank account levels empty and incapable of such a transaction?

I tell you what I did.


I pressed into an old faithful tree—one that absorbed the shock on my behalf over 2000 years ago and Who is more than capable of my realignment every time that I am willing press into a necessary obedience.

It may not yield a full perfection at this time. But it’s coming. If not here, then there. And the time lived in between the two—my now and my next—I’m pressing in and I’m pressing on to take hold of everything for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of me. I am not sure what my “everything” looks like; in fact, I am fairly confident that God means for much of it to remain veiled. Why?

Because that which remains unseen is that which grows my faith.

When I cannot see beyond the fog that surrounds me, tree pressing becomes my required necessary. When my plans cannot be managed or manipulated by my well-intentioned will, God presses the issue by urging me toward an intentional pause and by asking me to trust him with a fast from the world’s noisy insistence.

There is strength to found in the silence, my friends. Deeply rooted strength that comes with spending time at the foot of God’s tree. I’ve found his strength again this past week, as I have waited before him in silence. It’s never been absent or unavailable to me. But I have been.

Absent and unavailable.

In part, because my priorities have been derailed. But mostly, in part, because I have traded in the sweet sound of his voice for the resounding gongs and clanging cymbals of the world’s shout.

It sometimes takes a fast to recognize the difference. And by pressing into God’s tree this week, I have witnessed the profound extreme between the two. I am no longer willing to make that trade because the melody that I recovered in this time is the sacred chorus that claimed my heart as a child. It has kept my singing for nearly four decades now and will keep me drivable—in good working order—and will service this heart for a season longer, perhaps even for the generation that is soon to follow.


I don’t know how your truck is driving this week, but if you are feeling a bit old and worn and pried away from your sacred frame, let my lesson be yours. If God is urging you toward an intentional pause, press into his tree and then press in some more until he re-aligns your heart with his. He can absorb our pain; this has always been the intention of the Calvary tree that he planted on our behalf over 2000 years ago.

Press in, child of God. Press on. Move on and take hold of all of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of you. Glorious perfection. Yours and mine, and thus I pray…

Pause me in silence, Father, each and every day for the sweet revelation of your voice. When I allow the world’s noise to drown out your melody, shut me down and bring me to surrender at the foot of your cross. Strengthen my frame for holy submission and press into my flesh the splintered reminder of the price you paid for my re-alignment. May I never lose the wonder of your cross and the glorious participation of your presence in my life. Never again, Father. Never again. So be it. Amen.

Copyright © September 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.

~elaine

It’s so good to be back with you; that being said, you can expect that I come back with some new parameters for blogging. You can expect to see me here twice a week, unless I have a spectacular urging from God that refuses my silence! I will be over to see you too, but with a much more reasonable approach. Thanks for your prayers. God’s been so faithful. You are all wecome here, and I value your presence in my life! Shalom.

42 Responses to Pressing In

  1. great illustration with the old truck! I have recently taken time to press into His tree as well…interesting how your perspective seems to refocus, huh? Even Jesus Himself was able to refocus after time with the Father, as He choose disciples AFTER praying, He went to the cross AFTER praying…we ALL need it! Thank you for reminding us in blog world to press in!

  2. Elaine, this is a great word. I’m so encouraged by your pressing in and the wonderful illustration. Thank you for the post and also your example. God bless you, dear sister! It’s good to have you back in appropriate measures!

  3. I love this Elaine and your pics look great. You look well rested and ready for the days ahead. Thanks for taking time out to spend them with us. I, indeed need some rest at the foot of the “tree”. I am tired and emotionally drained. Pray for me!
    Blessings and Love you!

  4. Elaine, what a beautiful picture. I rejoice in the pause that has realigned and refreshed. I’m still there…guess my frame needed more work. I’m still seeking Him deeply, and pressing in to that faithful tree.

    I’m praying that daily He will show me a greater reality of Himself, and then give me the strength and courage to adjust my “shattered fender” with what I see.

    “That which is unseen is that which grows my faith”. As I’m spending an extra hour with Him in prayer daily, He is servicing and refilling the engine of my heart. A thorough cleansing is taking place.

    Pressing in and pressing on,
    Joy

  5. So nice to see you again, sweet friend…you know where my heart is and I’m encouraged by your pause, giving me fresh vision for my own.

    Hugs,
    Melinda

  6. Elaine – this is an amazingly pertinent and incredible message for ALL of us. You absolutely, positively blessed me. I am glad you have had your wonderful time of respite (and I agree – you look WONDERFUL) and that you are listening to the Lord’s direction in getting back to the “noise.”

    (Oh, and if you are reading blogs with a more reasonable approach, I will recommend that you be sure, at some point, to read “Not What I Expected”–my blog from Saturday. If you miss the others, it’s OK – but that one is special to me, and will give you a bit more of a look into my world)

  7. So glad to see you, and to know how profitable was your pause. In the shadow of His wings we are truly restored, and old things pass away even as new things – better things – take root.

    I look forward to the new day and new perspectives from your pen.

    God bless you,
    Kathleen

  8. Hi Elaine! We missed you greatly! So glad to see you back. This was an incredible post, as usual. Praise God for this word!

    Blessings to you,
    Kennisha

  9. So happy to hear that your pause was so refreshing, Elaine. And good for you for listening to God and following the new blogging parameters He’s led you to. May He continue to bless your writing journey!

  10. I love the illustration!
    Yes, there are many weeks that my frame needs an adjustment, a tune up… sometimes a complete overhaul! Thank goodness my heavenly mechanice can fix me up good as new! I love your heart!!!

  11. What a great post! I’m taking that time right now, to “press into His tree” and it is much needed. Thank you for your inspiration!

  12. Your testimony has moved me once again. I’ll be passing it on to others, for sure. The Lord has used you one post after the other to feed my soul. Keep pressing in, and I will do the same.

  13. Wonderful illustration. An anointed overflow from His heart to your heart to us. Thank you for your obedience to Him and your love for us.
    Love, Sita

  14. Enjoyed reading your story, seeing the pictures, understanding the analogy… just over here visiting from Laura’s well blog- also enjoyed your comments there.

  15. It’s good to hear your voice again refreshed and renewed. My heart has been feeling a little bit of that too the last several days. Do you know the old hymn Rescue the Perishing? I posted the third line of that song a week or so ago. There was a statement in your post you made that made me think of it again. Wonderful post…full of Him

  16. Thank you for your prayers for Sandy.. I spoke with Sandy and I told her that there are many beautiful ladies praying for her.. She is in good spirits, her husband is not doing as well as she is.. I spoke with him and he has to take the baby home today….. New Father with new baby and wife facing open heart surgery is a tough pill to swallow…….. Remember David when you pray…..

  17. I hear ya, Elaine. I’m starting to feel pretty convicted about the amount of computer time I spend at the cost of other more important things. Thanks for comin’ by. I look forward to your next post.

  18. An old truck with history, a broken bumper and an old tree. So just like you to bring such a testimonty of our Lord Jesus. I could not help but break out into song…on a hill far away…stood an old rugged cross…you know the rest. Thanks for blessing me this evening.

  19. Dear Elaine,

    This summer was a re-aligning time for me and my laptop (read I D O L). I actually had back pain and had to limit my time on the computer. It did wonders.

    What is so funny is that God has encouraged me to be more frequent in posting… while comments have waned…

    I tell Him, “Father, no one is listening (reading my blog)”… and He said, “I AM.” It brings tears to my eyes even now.

    What has been so wonderful about blogging is finding other women who take time to abide… and find the truth is… to abide.

    You have many giftings, my friend. And a lot of people lean on you for support… So, it is of utmost importance for you to go away to that lonely place to be with Your Father. And to teach the “younger” women to do likewise.

    God Bless you, Elaine. And I mean it!

  20. As others have said…you do look rested and refreshed in the pictures! I love the cross entwined with vine just beside the tree. Did you make that?

    I feel myself in real need of renewing and refreshing….but I really don’t know how to go about getting it. I just feel that I am so pressed from every side that I don’t know what I need to stop doing and what must necessarily keep on. Pray that God will give me wisdom.

    Thanks!
    Marilyn

  21. I loved this post.
    I think I would have not been allowed to let that picture of the truck go by without hearing something from God.
    Sometimes fixing the problem can be done when we listen to the still small voice…and sometimes it requires something a little more forceful…like life forcing you to submit to the “tree”.
    I think I have been going through a little of both.
    Do I submit to Him..or the world that is calling? How long it takes me to answer that question will determine how the problem can be taken care of.
    Bending my knee now. 🙂

  22. So relate to this post. And I’m in the same place. Pressing in and seeking His face for direction. Loved the pictures and the truth here.

    Hugs,
    Tiffany

  23. Welcome back, precious friend.

    I loved your beautiful and refreshing analogy. Once again, we are on the same proverbial page (ha!), as the Lord has also impressed upon my heart to write two blogs per week (probably Tuesdays and Thursdays/Fridays).

    May He richly bless your faithfulness, may He fragrantly anoint your obedience, and may He credit both to your account as righteousness.

  24. …but if you are feeling a bit old and worn and pried away from your sacred frame, let my lesson be yours.

    Wow,this was really, really good. I sure can relate.

    Welcome back my sweet sister.

    I look forward to all God is saying through you~

  25. Two things. The scripture you used today is the name of my blog. It’s something I am hoping to live out. It’s my life’s desire. Also, the last verses you used during your pause was crafted into a sign in my kitchen. How important and special are these two portions of scripture to me. Loved coming over here today and reading your post. Thanks for sharing your heart and your wisdom.

  26. This is my first visit to your blog. I saw a comment you left on Grace Today’s blog and decided to visit. I’m so glad I stopped by. You express yourself beautifully… Definitely a great message!

    God bless you…

  27. I was missing you and my quiet time this morning seemed “quiet”. There is unrest in my soul which I figure is related to this new blog Bible study we are doing “Behind Those Eyes”. I needed your words this morning and I was so excited to see you back! In the shadow of that cross-that is where we have to be.
    In our friends book “Anonymous”, I read chapter 41 she asked “what would he [satan] show you that would tempt you to bow down and worship him [satan]. Power or pleasure. Old scars or new possessions?” I had to stop and think on that Elaine. Old scars.Does not letting go of those old scars give satan control? I had never really looked at it that way. I have tried to allow my scars to be used by God but there is a fine line between holding on to them for His use or not letting them go…in the shadow of the cross. Thats where I come back to. In the shadow of that cross.
    Sorry for babbling. I have misseed you!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  28. This was beautiful!! I missed reading your thoughts–you have a wonderful on-line ministry:) And I know several places that something like this would fit!

  29. Elaine…that was wonderful! AND seeing you…made me miss you more! How beautiful you are!

    I loved the illustration of life for us…and the life of the truck! What inspiration! God shows us things in the everyday of every day. You always have your ear tuned close—I can tell!

  30. Wow. That was a good post. I loved the analogy between faith and that old car. It was great. And I love how you tied it to the cross.

    I want to press into that faithful tree.

  31. Amen, hallelujah and praise the Lord!!! You are a very talented writer and the way you brought the truck to the tree is incredible. There are times we must press in and be still and know. Amen!!!!! ((hugs)) Thanks for sharing! Bravo!

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