Can I tell on myself a bit? I figured you wouldn’t mind. So, I have always struggled with being a bit sassy with my words, and to make it worse I also tend to be short-fused. Hard to believe, right!? Me, a smidge mouthy and quick to anger? Not sweet ol’ Cassie. Ha! Those of you who know me are rolling your eyes right now, I know it. Truth is, my Grandpa even nicknamed me Sassy Cassie and boy did that stick with the fam. For short, they call me Sass. So you can see this has been a lifelong reality. I try to blame it on the fact that I have a sassy momma and a short-fused father, making me a time-bomb waiting to blow. But truthfully, no one person or lame excuse has forced me to respond in that manner. Now in my defense, over the course of many, many years, I’m learning how to handle it. Sometimes it takes me walking away from a situation to cool off for a moment, but I am learning how and when to respond appropriately to things. Don’t think for a moment I’ve mastered it, but I am WAY better than I once was.
Recently, I was helping a friend out with a project, and for days I was yelled at by people who didn’t know me from Adam but thought they could treat me like a criminal all because I was doing the job I was asked to do. That was hard for this “sassy by nature” girl. I wanted to light the fuse and let them have it, along with a good word thrashing. But I chose instead to walk away.
As God began to speak to me about this thought of ‘pressing and threshing’, it challenged me. He asked me, “Cassie, when you are pressed and crushed, what oozes out of you?” So I must ask you the same question. In the pressing and threshing of life, when people and things come against you and life gets hard, what oozes from you? Is it Jesus? Or is it anger, resentment, hatred, depression, anxiety, or worry? When someone cuts you off in traffic, does the bird in your car fly up or do you shrug it off believing they didn’t realize how close they were? When the girls have a get-together, and you didn’t get the invitation, do you lovingly express how much you’d love to join them next time or do you allow resentment to settle inside of you? When you feel picked over and undervalued at work or in ministry, how will you respond? When your finances are overwhelming, or family issues are on the rise, what will ooze from you? When you are waiting on a miracle and day after day you see no changes, what will seep out of you? Is it joy and Jesus because you trust Him and His timing? Or is it fear and doubt waiting to overtake you? In my situation I mentioned, I could’ve easily lashed out, but Jesus wouldn’t have been glorified through the lashing.
Now, so that you understand the reference to pressing and threshing, I’m referring to the process of making wine and grain in the Bible. To make wine, they would stomp the grapes with their feet causing the juices to flow from them. And to produce grain, they would take the wheat and throw it onto the floor allowing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them. This process loosened the edible part of the cereal grain (or other crops) from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it. Then winnowing forks were used to throw the mixture into the air so the wind could blow away the chaff, leaving only the good grain on the floor. But it was the threshing and crushing that separated the edible from the inedible. The pressing and threshing aren’t comfortable, in fact, it hurts. But we can choose what will ooze from us in those times of pressing and crushing.
I want to be a woman who responds in a way that God can use me, in a way that Jesus is glorified. I never want someone to question Jesus in me because I oozed anger when pressed. Now, I’m not so naive to think I will never struggle with responding the way Jesus would, after all, my name is Sassy Cassie. But I can promise you I will spend my life dedicated to trying to react with the love of Christ.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12