My mom had one of those old crank sifters. When we made biscuits, we used it to sift the flour, making sure there were no lumps that would not mix well. Once the flour was smooth, we would stir the flour, buttermilk, and shortening together, knead the dough, and form the biscuits. There was always some flour with tiny bits of dough left in the biscuit pan. Mom would then have us sift this remnant. With the leftover in the sifter, we would turn the crank to separate out any lumps, shaking along the way to make sure that we got out all the flour that could be used for the next pan of biscuits. This sifted flour would go back into the flour canister, leaving bits of unusable dough in the sifter to be discarded.
Hebrews 12:25 – 29 brings to my mind this process of sifting.
In this passage, God is the One Who is in control of the shaking. Some things are removed, and some things cannot be shaken. The things that cannot be shaken are preserved.
My life feels pretty shaken at times.
Things, dreams, and people on whom I have depended fail. My heart gets tossed about and kneaded like my mom’s biscuit dough, and some things are removed from my life. I look out on a world that doesn’t make sense, where truth is denied and evil applauded, and it seems that the foundation of who I am is shaken.
But, as my perspective shifts from the world to eternity, I find that the good and right has not been destroyed; it has simply been sifted from all that surrounds it to allow me to see my true foundation in God. He. cannot. be. moved.
What is left when the clutter and debris of this world is stripped away is the good flour – that which can still be used. Just like my mom saved her flour for the next batch of biscuits, God has a purpose and a plan for the good He preserves in my life.
The shaking, or sifting, process is not pleasant. It involves testing and trial. It may involve loss. Sometimes it hurts, and it can be frightening if we don’t have faith in the One Who is in control of the sifting.
No matter how much shaking occurs, those things that cannot be shaken will remain. God’s foundation stands sure and strong (II Timothy 2:19).
The certainty of God, the sureness of Who He is, allows me to walk in this life with grace (v. 28).
Hebrews 12: 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
II Timothy 2: 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.