It feels like we are being sifted, doesn’t it? This pandemic. Will the sifting ever end?
Are we complaining the whole way … and protesting? Or are we receiving what God gives each day … by faith, thankful for what He is bringing out of it all? Smoothing our souls, sifting out the debris!
All of this reminds me of a “sifter” of long ago.
My Mother-in-Law’s Sifter
It was sixteen years ago now … that day when we unboxed the items my mother-in-law was discarding because of her need to downsize. Betty Jean Loyd was moving to a senior community, states away from where she had lived most of her adult life, and where she had married a man and raised an only son.
At 80 years of age, Betty Jean, an only child herself, knew that she needed to be near us, her only family. So we helped her dispose of her discarded things.
And there it was…her sifter!
No! Not her sifter! She had used that sifter day after day, month after month, year after year to do the delicious baking and cooking that she was known for … at least I had noticed that about her. Along with her amazing flower garden, needlework, and sewing, my mother-in-law cooked and baked! Delicious food, lovely cakes, and desserts!
It overwhelmed me … deeply … I can’t explain it! For a long time, I cried thinking of that stage of her life done … for good. Those days of cooking and cleaning and caring for a little family. Now the disassembling of a life!
The ending of a beloved stage of life! The pending “good-bye” that certainly was closer than ever. The brevity of life! All of that and more spoke to me in that sifter.
Then as the days and years unfolded, that little, old, well-used sifter said something more … It spoke of what happens to all of us as we live life on this broken, fallen earth. Our lives get sifted, slowly eliminating the earthly, superficial stuff of what our lives consist on the human level — our possessions, our abilities, our energies, even our understanding, and awareness. What will eventually remain are the eternal, enduring treasures of life indeed.
We fight the sifting, the stripping, the emptying; instead of embracing our real-life today, each and every “today.” But wise are we when we walk through each “valley of the shadow” with the Shepherd and Guardian of our Souls. We can trust Him to put it all together to fulfill His purpose in and through our lives (Acts 13:36).
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2Cor 4:16 NIV
Betty Jean Loyd passed into eternity on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at 9:15 pm. Betty’s sifting has ended. So now she has no need for the stuff that she had shed in this life, for now, Betty Jean is finally home!
We don’t know when the sifting of this pandemic will end. But God’s sifting for each of us will continue until He takes us home. For His glorious purpose is to make us in our humanness like His Son.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. Romans 8:28-30 NLT
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 NLT