Do you ever feel like you're living life in the sifter? You know the one - where Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked to sift him like wheat. Then, Jesus prayed that Peter's faith wouldn't fail? I always wondered why Jesus didn't pray that Peter wouldn't have to go through all that. Why didn't He pray that Peter would just be strong - but isn't it the sifting trials in our lives that build our faith in God? Maybe they are responsible for making us lean in to Him a little more closely.
This morning, I found another scripture like that. It's in John 17:15. It's Jesus' final prayer before He heads to the cross. He prayed, I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. (NKJV) Sifting is going to happen, and we don't even get an exemption card as caregivers. Sometimes, it's the caregving that acts as a sifter, trying our faith.
Hard things are going to come our way, that's a given. But the One who keeps us remains with us through them all. As caregivers, we deal with grief, loss, and tons of other emotional baggage that we have to work through on a daily basis. We can trust that God has our back, our front, and our in-betweens. He gives us peace, comfort, and even joy, right in the midst of our struggles. He may not lift our troubles away, but He lifts us in the middle of them all. No where in the Bible do we see God making the path easy for those walking through time. Instead, He walked with them, just like He walks with us.
Oh, do I wish sometimes that He would just remove the sifter! Just remove the hard parts, please! But even if He did - there'd be more hard parts down the road. They are what He uses to shape our faith, much like Peter's. But Peter wasn't perfect, even though Jesus Himself prayed for him. Just a couple chapters further in John, we see Peter totally denying that he knew Jesus. And yet, Jesus prayed for Peter anyway. And ultimately, Peter stood. In faith. In Christ. He became a pillar of faith in the church as it unfolded over the next few years. There's hope for us too!
The difficult things can shape our faith, if we let them. It's all about leaning into God rather than pulling away when the going gets tough. We can trust that He's got us in His hand - no matter what our world's look like. No matter what types of disarray we are dealing with - He's got it all under control. Trusting Him - well, that's as simple as faith gets.
Today, I will lean in to Him just a little closer. I see all the chaos and disarray in my world, and I know He sees it too. But He won't run away or turn away from the painting of my life that seems to have gone awry. Instead, if I let Him, He takes the brush and turns it into something beautiful, stunning me and the world who sees it. So, today, I'm handing Him my brush, and I'll let Him paint while I ride out the sifter. I'll just trust Him - will you join me?
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