Practicing Newness Devotional: Persevering

 

Persevering

 

Before the wheat of any harvest can be used for sharing and baking it must be threshed.

Ancient Hebrew communities would often build a large circular concrete block outside the city gates called the threshing floor where they would beat the grain apart from the stalks. Families would sometimes sleep out on the block floor for the duration of the harvest time to protect their grain from thieves. Likewise, we will all face a time of testing with our promises.

There may be unfulfilled dreams in your heart. Hope which is dying. Joy which is fading. Sickness which remains. This can be a painful and lonely place. It is a time to let grief work through you. To reconcile your unanswered cries to God. Some of the seed which has been planted has failed to grow, and others have failed to bring green shoots. The apostle Paul encouraged the early church to have “patient endurance”.  As we hold fast to the hope we have for our lives, we should be reminded of Paul’s words and that without threshing there can be no pure, whole and nutritious grain. This is not God’s judgement of us, he is not far away. He is close, separating bone from marrow where we’re unable to do so ourselves. He is here healing us and preparing us for the next stage in our journey.

However long this season is, God’s love for you remains the same, however much you falter.

REFLECTION

Take the week to wrestle with God, asking him to shed light on the following questions or any others that arise from this weeks reflection. Give him space to respond, to heal, to resurrect.

 

Take a moment to consider times when God has threshed or tested the promises he’s given you. Feel the emotions of that time.

Have you been in a personal season of displacement, emotional difficulty, testing or dryness? Are you there right now?

How does it change your understanding of that season to place it in the context of the threshing of grain to separate the healthy from the unhealthy, the constructive from the destructive, the dark from the light?

What encouragement can you draw from knowing this is the final stage before the baking and sharing of the bread?

PRAYER

Spirit, Counselor, Friend. We ask that you would soften our hearts where they have become hardened. We know that you feel the grief that we do, and that you care. Encourage our hearts. Convey afresh our Father's love for us and remind us of the vulnerability of Christ on the cross, our Saviour who promised he would be with us till the end of the age. Forgive where we have lost faith and hope in your promises, and heal us. Allow us not to become cynical but to walk out of our threshing with honest and open hearts. We thank you for this season and that we have not walked it alone. Amen.