Thursday, January 31, 2008

529 - Sifted Like Wheat

Have you ever liked a pop quiz in school? For me it depended on the subject. I hated the ones in English because I can promise you I hadn't read the assignment. I never was much for reading! But if it was a pop quiz in calculus - bring it on! I was one of those who loved math and science! All in all though, I was not crazy about a pop quiz because I didn't like the idea of not being ready or not being warned it was coming. I like to prepare. I came by it honestly--my dad is the same way!

Regardless of the teacher's best intentions to gauge our impromptu mastery of the subject at hand, what usually happened at my school was this: If you had the class with the pop-quiz during the 5th hour - the students who had it 2nd hour would let you know in advance that it was coming. So, was it really a pop quiz? Yes, because I still hadn't had time to prepare for it the night before, but it was better scenario for me that what it could have been!

In Luke 22:31 (NIV) Jesus seems to give Peter - and the whole church according to the Greek translations - a warning about an upcoming pop quiz. “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” Jesus is the 2nd hour class! As the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest and who serves who, Jesus sets them straight and offers Simon some insight into his 5th hour class. "Simon, Simon (He has to say his name twice to get his attention - I know I am guilty of requiring the same!) Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."

Did you hear that, too? Not only have we been warned about the pop quiz, but Satan has to ask permission to give it to us. Praise the Lord that we are never sifted without Christ's knowledge and approval.

I know several people that are going through a sifting time right now. One has found a lump in her breast and is doing the waiting game. One has lost a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons in a tornado. One is left standing alone with three kids to raise because her husband can't decide what He wants.

The whole process of sifting wheat can be very difficult. It usually shakes us up so badly that the real separates from the unreal, like the chaff being separated from the wheat. We are left to see what our faith is really made of or in whom we place our trust. How faithful is Jesus to not only let us know about our pop-quiz, but promise to walk though it with us. He won't ask us to go anywhere He hasn't gone Himself.

Father, I know that we are to be grateful and thankful for the opportunity to be sifted. It means that You have the confidence in us to see us come out on the other side shining like your stars and reflecting Your glory. Lord, may we all be found faithful after our time of sifting is through.


Fran said...

"AMEN" to that prayer! What a word today Leigh. Thank you.


Nicki said...

What a great way to put this! I don't like sifting......oh I don't like it at all, but you are very right that when it is done...who we are truly stands out.

Thanks for your encouragment today, I really needed it!!

Leigh said...

You are such a gifted writer! Well put!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Thank you so much for this insight on this sifting process!! Our Pastor taught from this passage last Sunday and I've been sitting in there all week.

Amen and amen....

have a very blessed weekend!