A few months ago, I found myself sitting on my bed, praying, “Lord, crush me. Lord, crush me. Lord, crush me.”
Immediately I thought, “What? What did I just say?!”
I wasn’t too pleased with my own prayer, because I know that the Lord hears and answers. I honestly forgot about my prayer, and didn’t understand what was going on as I began to battle depressive thoughts.
Just a few months earlier I had come to serve and be part of the Revive Israel core community. I thought it was supposed to be a season of joy, but I wasn’t able to fight off the depressive thoughts. I felt emotionally unstable and just exhausted.
I work in outreach to men and women who are trafficked and addicted to drugs. I am deeply passionate about this work, but I felt so tired from battling the darkness surrounding it. I had no words and strength left to pray. I now realize I needed the crushing to understand and embrace the fact that I wasn’t meant to be fighting this battle by myself. It is a false sense of humility to not ask others to pray for me out of a fear of burdening them. Yes, I find it humbling to ask for help and prayer. But God did not call me, and neither did He call you, to run this race alone.
This reminds me of Matthew 25, where Jesus speaks about the five wise and the five foolish virgins who are waiting for the bridegroom to come. The five wise ones bring oil with them for their lamps, while the five foolish ones run out of oil and need to go buy new oil for their lamps. While they are away buying the oil, they miss the coming of the bridegroom. At Revive Israel we are building a community of people who are committed to run the race together. We meet daily for two hours of worship and prayer. We share life by opening up to each other and carrying each other’s burdens both in prayer and in practical help. This is not always convenient, as it means to fully give of ourselves and prefer the other over ourselves (Romans 12). However, I believe this to be the key to never letting ourselves run dry.
Our commitment to share life together produces oil. Remember that oil is produced by crushing olives. This uncomfortable process of oil being produced in us will show other people the way Jesus means us to live together, and attract people to Him.
This period of crushing has shown me that by “running” alone, my oil will be depleted. By choosing to run together with others, I will have enough oil for my lamp to shine and show people the way to their waiting bridegroom.