Paul was a church planting pastor. He pioneered the work of God in many communities. His words "pressed but not crushed..." certainly come from these experiences.
I feel hard pressed but am claiming the not crushed part of his quote. Very hard pressed...
After an awesome experience of God's intimate grace and real renewal among the participants of the Lord's Prayer Pathway on Thursday night, I was greatly let down by the low attendance of our Easter Sunday Gathering. It is hard at times not to focus on head counting and attendance when it is off your expectations. The service was encouraging and uplifting other than lower than expected attendance.
Saturday of this week, I received a call that our worship center had been broken into again. This makes 2 break ins and 2 outside thefts (a gas and an electric meter.) This time the intruders took all the sound equipment left from the first robbery. We had to scramble Saturday to clean up, and prepare for an unamplified and unmixed worship time. The loss is around $1500 which we cannot replace any time soon.
I understand, experiencially,what it is to be pressed but not crushed. Some of the assignments in the kingdom are more challenging than others. I also understand why Peter, when hearing Jesus say that he would be crucified one day, turned toward John and asked, "what about him!?!?" So I must also hear Jesus' words of correction for this pressed and crushed attitude, "If I want him to live forever, what is that to you. You follow me."
Lord, help me to follow you where you lead me, whereever you lead me. I'd be lost on my own.