There are generally two types of people. The person who embraces change enthusiastically, and the person who doesn't. Maybe you're in-between. Sometimes you're jumping in with both feet and other times you're dragging your heels. Me? Usually, I'm up for a new adventure! Truth is, I get bored if there isn't something new and fun on the horizon. I look forward to change and even find myself craving it. In fact, I have found that what lies ahead can often consume my thoughts and even steal my time.
I've often been so consumed with the future that I forget to live in the present and fully embrace the season I'm in. However there is something so very important about being present. Sometimes we go through seasons we don't like. Let's face it. Life is hard sometimes. There's a popular t-shirt I've seen online that says "Don't grow up. It's a trap!" Have you ever felt like that? Maybe this is all a big joke and when I wake up in the morning I'll be seven years old again.............HA!
Often we want to escape where we are so we can get to where we want to go.
About a year ago I was in the midst of a difficult season that I desperately wanted to escape. One morning as I was spending time with God, I found myself in a place of what literally felt like despair. In prayer before the Lord I was more raw and honest than I'd been in a while. I didn't want to walk through the trials of the current season. I was weary and worn and just wanted to move on. I think my prayer went something like this, "Lord, can we just skip this part and get to the good stuff?" As I sat in my chair I heard the Lord speak ever so gently these words, "This IS the good stuff." What? Did I hear You right, Lord? Did You say "This IS the good stuff"??? What I realized in that moment was that the Lord was sifting me in order to shift me.
It is the SIFT that prepares you for the SHIFT.
This revelation brought me back to a place of surrender, and believe it or not, JOY. It freed me of the heaviness I felt like an anchor around my neck. In that moment it clicked for me that there literally was no way I would be ready for the next season if I did not allow the current process to complete it's course in God's timing.
Often we are overly concerned and hyper-focused on the SHIFT. We wonder, ”What’s next? Where am I going in life and ministry? What is the new thing God has for me, my family, or my job?” It’s ok to ask these things and to prepare oneself spiritually and physically for new seasons. Yet often we overlook the importance of the SIFT. The sifting is the process the Holy Spirit takes us through to rid our lives of unnecessary distractions and time killers. It is the refining fire that cleanses our hearts and minds, and even causes us to look closely at the relationships in our lives. It is the conviction that lovingly leads us to repentance and brings forth holiness in our lives. The SIFT. It is the SIFT that prepares you for the SHIFT.
Never overlook the importance. Never underestimate the power. Never despise the process of the Lord’s sifting in your life!
Happy New Year,