So, this is a picture of Emily and her Auntie Terra flying through the air at the Mall of America in Minnesota last week. Jason had to work in MN and in SD, so we went along for the ride. We have family and friends in each location, so we packed in a lot of short but sweet visits. The picture sums up not only our whirlwind week, but the state of my life right now. What’s that? You were wondering what the audio on this particular picture might say…Well, funny that you would ask! In order to get this great action shot of Em and her Aunt thoroughly enjoying themselves, I was indeed flying through the air backwards! The audio is of my guts churning and the fluid in my ears splashing about uncontrollably as I experienced vertigo the remainder of the day! There really is no need for a reminder never to repeat such Tom Foolery!
Anyway, the reason the picture sums up life right now, no, actually ever since I decided years ago to truly follow the Lord, is that it shows what John the Baptist and Jesus were conveying in the following passages:
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12
- God showed me this scripture in college one night. I got stuck on the word “winnow” so in my study Bible there was a cross reference to the study note on Ruth 1:22. There it described the winnowing process, where during a certain time each day when there was a breeze, the winnower would take his huge fork and stab the wheat, throwing it in the air for the chaff to blow away, leaving only the pure grain at his feet. WOW is all I could think! A picture of God sifting my life of the things that aren’t necessary, just wanting the wheat at His feet, me at His feet, pure and simple, organic for His use…well, it’s rocked my world ever since. The idea of our lives being “thrown” into the air for purification is a control freaks nightmare! Believe me, I fought it for a long time, but what need does God have of a pile of chaff?
“Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
- This scripture is from the last supper, and it’s in red font, so, you know what that means…my friend, Phyllis, in SD, shared this one yesterday at church. I love it because, unlike Job’s situation, Jesus outright tells Simon, who is Peter, that satan has asked to sift him. He forewarns him, though Peter is so bent on convincing Jesus (hello, it’s Jesus…as if He didn’t know…) he’s actually going to be faithful. Then, obviously, satan had to ask. He is subject to God’s sovereignty. Period. Then, Jesus tells Simon that He has already prayed for him, that his faith would not fail. Jesus is interceding for us all the time! Then, Jesus tells Simon that He knows he’ll turn back to Him, and once he does, to encourage everyone around him from his own experience. Let me just reiterate what the scripture does not say…Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But, I told him “No” because that’s not nice…or “No” because life on earth is supposed to be peachy…or “No” because that just might rock his faith…
I don’t know about you, but it seems as if satan might be part of the great sifting that is going on in the church. The sifting that is Jesus trying to find the pure wheat that will be finally left at His feet for His use. For His glory. And I can tell you first hand, though purification is definitely what I am experiencing and desiring, I still feel like I’m up in the air, flying backwards on a suspended chain link swing in the middle of the Mall of America!
Wow, how amazing is He? I never thought of that scripture like that. Thank you for showing me the meaning.Praying with you always..
the picture is incredible ! LOVE the movement…. what a neat memory caught in time.
I think sifting is interesting too- i heard a pastor talk once about not only being thrown in the air but also how we come falling back to the ground again! just to be stabbed and thrown back up. It is so true- our lives are sifted, and junk blown away- if we allow Him to work His ways… you are a powerful example of a family who has allowed God to burn away chaff and leave behind sweet smelling wheat… ready to be used for more of His purposes. …
i wanted to leave this for u as i felt that i needed to let u know how much ur family have touched my heart. i found this site through watching noahs video on youtube,and i am amazed at the courage, love and faith that you have to let ur son move on to be with god. and u r right u have not lost him you have gained a little angel to watch over the people he loves. my prayers are with u all x
While reading your blog, better yet, Noah’s blog, I just thought I would encourage you to seek God about writing a book. You have a huge gift of bringing scripture to life, unfortunately sometimes through tough lessons, but always spot on! Thank you for continuing to share, and I will look forward to seeing your book on my shelf. Jaylene Howell(A friend of Angela Seelings in Cheltenham, England)
Our Pastor spoke recently about us being willing to “climb-up” on the potters wheel and submit to the potter Jesus making the vessel He desires us become. (Jeremiah 18:4) You are being formed and made and in so doing are setting an example for each of us to climb-up on that wheel.
Yes, yes please write the book.
I am right there with you desiring to be sifted by the Master each day. It’s such a process, but just like gold needing refining, we need to get all the junk to the top and skimmed off, the heat turned higher, skimmed again, and pray for the beauty to shine through.
Thanks for your incredible insight.
I just heard a story on NPR, it has nothing at all to do with this particular post, but I thought you might find it interesting. The Church of England is introducing a new eucharist with rock music. They are calling it the U2-charist.
Thanks for the post and thoughts on the scripture.
Glad you and Em were able to go up to MN with Jason.
Great photo… impressive work, riding backwards to get that shot.
Even looking at that picture kicked my vertigo into gear, so I can’t imagine taking it!
Love the illustration… I have heard it before, but glad for the reminder that the things we go thru are all for our good… and His glory!
You don’t know me but I have been following Noah’s blog and spent many hours crying and praying for him and your family. I had a daughter 10 months and spent some time at the NICU at Sioux Valley in Sioux Falls, SD. They are truly God’s angels and i appreciate all they did for us. thank you for sharing your insight and your lives with us. You bring your insight on scriptures in a new light to me and I appreciate them so much. I pray for your family and I know your sweet Noah is one of the most beautiful angels in Heaven. God Bless.
A mom from South Dakota
I came here via youtube. I wanted to let you know that as a christian, you have shown the utmost of faith in Our Father. He knows the plans He has for us. I am so sorry that baby Noah is out of this life, but you will see him again. He is beautiful….
I, too desire this sifting in my life… not that i always respond well. I do need to be reminded that it is Him, refining me.It seems that i have more chaff to be blown from my life than i’d like to admit.I always feel up in the air. Thank you Lord for not leaving me to me.
I was listening to one of my favorite songs today and you sprang to my mind. Its called “Sanctuary” I am sure you have heard it. But I love the way Jaci Velasquez sings it. I will share the words with you, and I don’t know why…
“Lord prepare me
to be a Sanctuary
pure and Holy
tried and true
I’ll be a living
A BEAUTIFUL word for today. Thank you for encouraging my heart!
All I can say is thank you sooo much for sharing.
Adrien and Jason will you please send me your phone # or address.
That is an amazing picture you took.
I am going through a sifting time right now, and being thrown into the air is a frightening experience when you’re not sure of the goal. That’s where I was when all of this began, but thankfully a friend led me to the Psalms and its purpose became clearer by the day. I check your blog often because what you share continues to help me to not be afraid but to look to the goal of being closer to Jesus.
You teach me so much…