The Sifting Days


Photo: Heather Durnin, Flickr Creative Commons

I watched a farmer in the field as he threshed the stalks so heavy with wheat. The huge machinery was working; grinding, sifting; and as the stalk went through the machinery, I noticed that there was a great separating process that took place, until from one side there came a beautiful, golden flow of wheat, but the chaff was cast aside as useless and it flew away with the four winds until I could scarcely see where it had been. But the wheat, so yellow and ripe, came forth, a delight to the farmer who had planted it.

As I watched, I could almost hear the words of Jesus to Peter before He faced His persecutors: “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not…” (Luke 22:31-32)

These are sifting days… these are days when the strongest among us are being tried, and sometimes questioned … when the weak often are blown about by the winds of trial and persecution.

The refining fire of God is like a thresher’s machinery; purging, tearing us away from the mold that once held us so tightly in its grasp; separating us from the world unto holiness. And after the threshing, the wheat flows forth, golden and useful, and beautiful to the eye of Him who planted it!

But the chaff? On every hand I see those who once walked near their Lord, now looking for a flimsy excuse to loiter on the way – dabbling here and there. And Satan uses, I think, the very element of time to erase the memory of the closeness they knew with God, and they do not feel their need of walking as before. And it isn’t long until they, like the chaff, are gone with the four winds – no longer of service to the Lord; scarcely leaving an imprint of the place where they have been. And, like Demas, they forsake God’s work, having loved this present evil world.

You and I can be counted as wheat if we want to be!

In my heart there is a determination not to be sifted as wheat – not to become the chaff that is no longer counted as useful.

Is that your determination, too?

(Repost from Oct. 2014)