The life of an olive is a great analogy of how we can positively move through our trials.
The olive tree needs seasons of near draught and near flood to be fruitful. The greatest olives in the Mediterranean are subject to both the dry, hot desert east wind and the rain-filled west wind. The winds of trials and winds of abundance can both bring the growth we need to mature in life when we embrace the process.
Trials can make us bitter in such a deep way that it can take a long process to bring us back to a useful state. Olives are naturally bitter. It is a long process to make the olive more palatable. In the olive’s journey to becoming more useful, there is waiting, washing, breaking, soaking, sometimes salting, and waiting some more to process out the bitterness.
Olives are strong and hard when picked straight from the tree. The tree needs hours of hard rain to nourish the olives up the tree through the roots. This part of the process for us requires deep roots in knowing who we are and patience to pursue the nourishment we need to soften and be open to growth.
We benefit most from trials that result in positive change for the long haul. The longest beenfit of the olive is the olive oil produced. The olives are crushed and the goodness in the oil is extracted. It has uses for a long duration.
Even Homer, in his epic poems, coined the term “liquid gold” and repeatedly mentioned olive oil in The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Being pressed during life's trials can leave us crushed. Taking the steps and trusting the process, we can extract the best lessons from any trial. When winds of trials blow, it is easy to forget they are necessary for growth. When we are in the process of emerging from trials, we need to allow the ridding of bitterness so that goodness can be extracted. Sometimes when we are being crushed, it is for the sake of our own preservation and future usefulness.
None of us wishes for trials in our life but our perspective serves us best when we pursue the liquid gold as we embrace the process of growth.