31Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan [a]has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,(A)
32But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren.
Luke 22:31-32 (Amplified Bible)
Now if I take out Simon’s name and replace it with Brother Don, this will aptly explain where I am and have been for a long time. Being sifted as wheat/grain, is one of the most un-pleasurable places I have been and believe me, if I ever see it coming again, I am going to take a detour (probably why God does not let me see it coming).
Ever had times when people you pray for are getting blessed, pulling through and things are generally going ok for them – well praise God for answered prayer and I am generally and sincerely am happy when that happens. The difficult bit to deal with is when all hell is breaking loose around you and you do not seem to be getting even a whiff of an easing, never mind breakthrough – The sifting. You know, when you plaster on the smile and say that it is well, when your situation or circumstance say otherwise, and yes I know we are not supposed to look at our situations & circumstance, but the truth of the matter is, that it is hard not to when you are being sifted as wheat – Just ask Job when you meet him, I’m sure he’ll back me on this. Job Chapters 1 & 2
Ever find that you do not want t to talk about what is going on with you at times, because a) you don’t want to seem like a repetitive, negative personality type when recounting your issues b) you wonder if it will make any difference or just spoil the other persons mood or even c) you just don’t have the energy anymore. Well I sometimes feel a variation of these things and sometimes all of the above.
The interesting thing for me, about what Jesus said was that He had not prayed that the issue would not actually happen, but that when it had happened, that Peter aka Simon would strengthen his brethren. You see the Lord knows best; although being really transparent, I sometimes think that He could do it differently and without completely bring me to a place of destitution and quicker, Yes most defiantly quickly – Is it only me? But no, the truth is of course HE does know best and sometimes it is because we have not yet got to the other side of the issue, that we cannot look back and see this. Peter next said that he was ready to go to prison and to death with Jesus, but Jesus told him that he (Peter) would deny Jesus that very day, three times before the rooster crowed (Where’s the shot gun, I’ve got a rooster to kill – Poor Joke I know – forgive me!). After Peter denied Jesus, he was a man demented and just for the record, Peter is not alone; I deny Jesus in some of my actions, thought patterns daily, but thank God, for the Grace, Mercy and Blood of Jesus that washes away these indiscretions. We all fall short of the mark of excellence – that’s why He came, so let’s not judge Peter or indeed each other to harshly… I have added a video link of Peter’s denial from ‘The passion of the Christ’ – WARNING! A graphic scene of Jesus being tortured and not for under 18’s Scene contains some violence - Over 18's only.
The point I am making is that during the sifting, it can be/get so difficult that we can even find ourselves wanting to chuck in the towel on this walk of Faith and just make it work our way, after all God seems to be taking His sweet time and I cannot continue holding on in hope and faith for another hour, much less years. Well thank God that Jesus has prayed that our faith may not fail and remember it is from the smallest seed of faith that mountains can be moved so if you have that little speck of faith/hope left – it is enough:
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[a] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20 (New King James Version)
I have nothing more to add but to say, hold onto your mustard seed, it's often all we've got...
God be with you.
Love Brother Don
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)‘But test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good’