Shaking

Have you ever had a day when your world fell apart?  I have had several of those over my lifetime.  I think that they are common to the human condition.  It is what you do in those heartbroken moments that define how the trauma will change you.  I have a friend going through some very rough stuff right now.  The rug has been pulled out from under her and everything she has known is being shaken.  Her determination to let God have his way is admirable.  She is on her face broken before him.

I believe the word when it says God draws near to the brokenhearted.  It has been proven true over and over again in my life.  He uses our brokenness to heal us.  This is another of his wonderful dichotomies. He sees a much bigger picture than we do.  To him the discomfort we experience is momentary.  To us, however, it seems like forever.  When relationships are broken, and the tension is high, we run into his arms for safety and comfort.  It is much like a parent when a child falls and skins a knee.  There is a connection when we know that a parent is there to pick up the pieces and kiss the boo boos.  Boo boos happen. Comfort flows.  God wants us to run to him in dark times.  He wants to hold us and say it will be all right.  It is his secret place where nothing matters but the love of a father for his child.

There is a scripture in Hebrews that I have turned to many times in my life for comfort.  I know that most would not consider this fiery prophesy comforting, but I see it as a statement of God’s faithfulness and his hand even in life shattering events.  See what you think…12:26 “At that time his voice shook the earth but now he has promised ‘Once more I will shake not only the Earth but also the heavens.’  The words once more indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be THANKFUL and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” 
     God shakes things!  A calamity like cancer, or wayward children or a broken relationship is not a surprise, but a tool used of God to remove what needs to be removed.  Wonder of wonders…what is left is the solid foundation of Jesus on which everything else rests.  Priorities come into focus.  Mindsets shift.  We begin to think eternally rather than temporal.  When we reach this place, we thank God for the fire.  It is a cleansing fire, consuming all that is chaff.  Does the fire hurt?  You bet.  Is the shaking scary?  More than you can imagine.  Is the result sure?  Nope.  The only sure thing is that if you let him, God will turn what is meant for evil to good…if you let him.  He is in control.  We are not.  That is the rub of this whole thing.  We want to know the end of the story.  He loves a mystery. One foot at a time.  Step. Step. Step.  One day, one hour, one moment at a time.  These heart wrenching life circumstances force us to live moment to moment.  Breath to breath. 

We can trust him and lay it all down, or we can wrestle.  There is peace when we sacrifice control.  Rest, wait.  It is he who does the work in us.  As a speaker at our church said last week, “Apple trees do not grunt and groan to make apples.”  It is true, when we abide in him during a dark time, he does the pruning, the feeding, and the watering.  It is he that grows the fruit.  We cannot rush it or slow it down.  His timing is perfect.  All we can do is sit, in the quiet place while he does his work on our hearts.  It is freeing to release the striving of life and rest. It is not our job to fix everything, and every person in the world.  We were created to worship him and to bring him glory.  (Our top priority) He is our audience of one.  Our father that runs to kiss our boo boo and make it right is the healer longs to touch us and make us whole.  Will we let him?  Can you trust him to bring peace in the fire?   

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