Pressed Close, Pressed Down

Mercury column to measure pressure, scale in m...

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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.

Two children with hops basket

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.

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5 Comments on “Pressed Close, Pressed Down”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    Hi Karen, was blessed to read that and identify very much what you’re experiencing.

    Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;

    if so be that we suffer with him,

    so that we may be also glorified together.

    Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

    Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.
    Rom 8:20 For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope,
    Rom 8:21 Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.

    Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.

    Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?
    Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
    Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our weakness: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
    Rom 8:27 And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
    Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
    Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    Rom 8:33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.
    Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

    Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

    shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    Rom 8:36 As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

    Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

    Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    • Karen Butler Says:

      Amen and Amen! Exactly what I have been meditating on,and drawing strength from, and what has inspired my recent poems. I am so glad you understood.

      How I hate the pressure of death over all creation, and long for His revealing.


  2. […] especially in a moment when Heaven meets your own earthiness in a tender moment.  Words fail. I have tried to express it too, so I know.  We poets do our humble […]


  3. […] I prayed like this for a prodigal once when they were suicidally depressed and without God, and despairing without any hope in this world. Oh, it was a terrible place but a lovely place too, and I am thankful to say that God reached down and grasped their hand and snatched them like a brand from the fire.  I am so thankful this one is eternally safe, but I  miss the intimacy I had with the Father when I prayed this way. […]


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