Crushed grapes?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are there times in your life when you feel crushed by events, even other people? Did you know that God often uses these to make sure that you’re ready to do the important work he has planned for you?

My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

There are few things better than the unexpected good thing. Specifically, when something good happens when you’re expecting something bad? God often crushes us through something we had not expected or by someone we didn’t like or, perhaps, even know. God knows we will never become a fine wine until the crushing is accomplished.

Here’s a story: Two of the most opposed characters from the early history of our nation were presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson . . . After President Washington passed away, Adams was president at the time and Jefferson was about to become president only a term later. The animosity between these men was notorious. Adams and Jefferson were truly political enemies that had become personal enemies and never missed an opportunity to point out their differences and snipe at one another. As the years passed both men became less antagonistic. After Jefferson left the presidency in 1808 he retired to his Monticello home. Adams, already retired, lived quietly in Quincy, Massachusetts. . . . In 1814, both began a correspondence that would last until their deaths. A mutual respect grew and they became close friends. Then, on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the American independence which both men had personally shaped, Adams and Jefferson lay in death’s grip. At 91 years, Adams was the patriarch of the Revolution. And Jefferson, at 83, had outlived many of his contemporaries. Ironically, these two men, who had hated one another, were suffering together–passing from life together on the anniversary of the event that had once bonded them long before their mutual hatreds developed. At 2:30 in the afternoon, Adams quietly passed away. Only moments later, Jefferson uttered his last words, “Does Adams still live?” Although the doctors could not have known Adams had passed away, Jefferson did. He closed his eyes and died only hours after his friend Adams had passed.

Like these two men, we once were God’s enemies and the mere mention of His name filled us with fear.

The Apostle Paul often preached about how with Christ we are now reconciled to God. As we are reconciled, we share in His suffering and He in ours. Christ still suffers with us every time we do. We are one with Him and our hopes, our hurts, our joys and our sorrows are also His. We were alienated from our God for so long and then Christ came to live the perfect life that brought us together with God again. We were once enemies and now we are friends–friends that live and die together in a mystical union that only God can explain. Unlike Jefferson, however, we will at our death not have to ask, “Does Christ yet live?” We know that OUR Redeemer lives! We are reconciled both now AND forever. Fine wine we have become.

We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for calling us into a ministry that sometimes required our complete surrender and abandonment in order to effectively do your will. Forgive us Lord when we complain about the means and methods you might use to crush us before making something of us. We know that often through suffering we become a new man, able to take on the challenges of doing the Kingdom work that you have called us to do. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!" <> God bless you for Jesus sake.

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