Pressed Close, Pressed Down
I am contending for the life of another, and the pressure is almost unendurable. Hudson Taylor said, “It doesn’t matter, really, how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord–then the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.” The pressure lies in a good place, I am close to His heart now, and that is what enables me to endure. I am being pressed into the cross for another; pressed into its life, and then laid close to that one, to come between them and the enemy’s assignment of death. It is body to body, I am like Elijah laying on the lifeless boy he helped to birth, waiting on God to bring breath back into him. Elijah was just flesh like me, and I can endure it if he did. I wait, get up, pace around and pray, go back and lay on the body again. Oh how great the pressure is, I feel the sentence of death so deeply sometimes, and how gladly I would suffer its penalty fully for my dear one!
This must be that mystery, the fellowship of the Cross, the fellowship of His afflictions. This intimacy with Jesus is most sweet. I would not trade it for peace and plenty. (Okay, sometimes, when the pain is awful, and I quake in fear and failing. I am but flesh, and this lump of dust tends to seek its own).
But I would not trade this suffering when it produces this kind of life in me: when I finished my prayers the other night, I said to the Lord something, in a way I have never said before, “I love you so much!” I didn’t say it worshipfully, but in the affectionate and comfortable way I murmur in my little girls ears when I tuck them into bed. I, worm that I am, was shockingly familiar with the Most High God! Yet there was deep reality behind those words so carelessly spoken.
And this is the most amazing thing: I felt as though the Spirit drew in His breath with a gasp of delight. I sensed His deep pleasure, and I was cosy in that glow as I drifted off to sleep, so safe in His love. I can go on such soul’s nourishment for many more days. I smile even now as I think of it. It was a good measure of His love, given back in return, pressed down, shaken together spilling out all over, and out it will go into the laps of the ones to whom He has drawn me close.