>It’s not a fun process. It’s not easy, not painless. But it’s totally necessary. Just like Peter, we must be “sifted like wheat” in order to solidify our oneness with the Father.
The Lord doesn’t let us go through hard times to punish us, as many have been taught. He loves us, and just like a parent loves a child, He loves us with a tough love sometimes. Fortunately, His love is absolutely perfect and drives out all fear (1 John 4).
I have been convicted of unbelief in the last several months. When we don’t believe that God can do what He says He can do, we are calling Him a liar and attesting to our arrogance that we can actually do it without Him.
Truth is, we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5).
How am I being sifted? By having to be totally reliant on the Lord for my strength, joy, comfort, and peace. No human can provide all those things in perfection to me. No one can provide enough physical comfort, least of all my husband who is over 6,000 miles away. There is nothing else I can do but cast all my cares upon him (Ps. 55:22, 1 Pet. 5:7).
I feel like I am like Peter right now, telling the Lord that yes! I will never deny You! But then I deny Him every time I don’t believe that He can do “the thang” (Beth Moore speak). Just like the Lord predicts Peter’s denial, He knows that I will fail in my weakness time and time again. My perfectionism will do nothing to save me, only the grace of God that is sufficient in our weakness (1 Cor. 12:9). That verse goes on to say, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Man, it’s a good thing I don’t and can’t do it on my own. Why in the world would I want my power, whatever that is, instead of Christ’s power?
I need to seek Him, to call out. “Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). I looked up “call” in my Hebrew dictionary and it gave synonyms such as, “cry, invite, mention, read, say, properly address by name”. It seems like a simple command, but sometimes it can be complicated to put all else aside and truly call out with fervor and humility.
In Isaiah, God asks why we spend our money and labor on things that do not satisfy (55:2). Why do we? We are filling a void. It’s much easier to be passive about life and fill our lives with things that do not satisfy than take the initiative to shut out all others and focus just on the Lord in our prayer/study time. It’s much easier to let life happen.
That verse goes on to say, “Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.” He will provide for all our needs according to His riches. HIS riches, not the world’s!
I guess this is a jumble of all the thoughts going through my mind this evening. I love it when Scripture comes together in a seamless way, and I love how I am reminded of verses throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament. I can’t always remember exactly where they are, but I know they’re there.
There is no doubt that this is a time of sifting, just like with Peter. There is obviously something great that the Lord has planned for me and my husband, and it will go beyond anything I could ever imagine for myself. Whatever it is, I knew it would take preparation and maturity.
There is pain in the offering, but it’s an offering. I’m not hiding my difficulty or emotions, or hoarding whatever strength I can claim as my own.
It’s all laid at the foot of the cross, exactly where it should be. In the end, I will know what it is to call out to God, to listen, to live by His precepts, and to truly find His strength in my weakness.