Here I sit, facing a second major surgery in 6 months time. Why on earth is this happening? Not only has the pain been overwhelming, but frustration has been brewing in my spirit. I’m weak and worn. I’m also so unwilling to admit that this whole situation has me down. I’ve begun to wonder if this is what life is going to be all about for the years to come. Will I always have to pick and choose what things I can do? I’m wife and a mother. I’m supposed to take care of my family and my home, not the other way around.
God stops me from my whining. I’m certain He has grown tired of my complaining, just as He grew tired of the Israelites crying when they were in the wilderness. A heaviness comes over me as the reality crushes my soul. I’m an Israelite. Here I sit complaining, whining, and worrying when God walks before me making provisions for my every need. He has a purpose for this storm, and He has made it clear. Still, I question His motives and complain. I’m such an Israelite.
God made provisions for my needs before my life even began. He selected a family that could cause me to be “sifted like wheat” when I was young. He knew I would need to be emptied of myself so that He could fill me with Him. It’s much like Peter when Jesus was going to be betrayed. No, I’m not going to betray anyone, but God did allow Satan to sift me. This scripture passage never made sense to me. “…Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31) Sifting someone like wheat? What did that mean?
Then in the spring I completed Beth Moore’s Bible study, “Believing God”. One message she shared will forever change my life. “God will never allow Satan to sift us like wheat unless we have something that needs to be sifted. Sometimes things need to go before we can go where God needs us to go.” Suddenly it all made sense. Sifting wheat was going to remove all of the things that cannot be used.
I didn’t go back to that idea much over the next few months. Not until the day when I found myself at home, in bed, missing out on a youth event with my family because my body refused to cooperate with my desires. I again found frustration and “why Lord” questions overtaking my mind. He led me back to Luke 22:31, and after some quiet time, He showed me why.
Sometimes the storms of our lives have been allowed to sift our self-confidence away so that we will have room for the confidence and power that only come from Christ to fill us up. All of me had to be sifted away so that I had room to be all of God’s.
That stubborn, hard-headed woman who always trudged through the deepest of muck was no use to God. Why? Because I was trudging through in my own power. It was then that I realized all of these storms God has allowed in my life had a very important purpose. The storms have brought me to my knees more times than I can count. Exactly what God desires. They have forced my dependence on Him and emptied me of myself.
I pray that as I approach this next surgery, and an extended period of recovery that I keep my gaze firmly on God. Daily, I will remind myself that in order to be of use to God, I have to remain emptied of myself and filled with Him. And when those storms rage in life, I will remember that it’s God’s way of sifting away what needs to go so that I be all that God desires for me.