So how do we shift our viewpoint from the natural to the eternal when God is shaking up our lives? If we’re to believe God is sovereign and nothing occurs without his approval, then he’s allowed whatever situation we are currently struggling with to occur.
I think this is one of the most difficult areas for us as Christians to accept and understand. Trust me, I know! Recently God showed me three areas that are very critical to understanding these times of shake up.
1. God’s ways are not ours. I think this was and is the most difficult area for me. I love God so much, I can’t stand the thought of anything making him look less than perfect. But sometimes what may seem to be imperfect, unfair and unexplainable is really part of a bigger plan we are incapable of understanding. I can accept this but to explain it to someone who doesn’t believe—that’s where it can get sticky. Which then brings me to point two.
2. It’s not about us. So often we treat these situations as if they’re meant to torture and punish us alone. I know I tend to jump this way in my thinking. But in actuality it could be God growing someone else closer to the image of his Son, which may mean some sacrifice on our part. This is so true of our unbelieving and faith struggling spouses. And this connects to point three.
3. God is growing us closer to the image of his Son, which again will mean some sacrifice, but usually of the stuff that shouldn’t be there anyway. This is what I consider the real “shaking” time. God’s working on us to shed all that self-centered, worldly stuff to leave the just the “God stuff.”
Take a look at this verse:
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." — Hebrews 12:26-29 (NIV)
Our time here on earth is preparation for our transition to heaven. So it makes sense that these times of “shaking” would reflect what’s to come—the final shaking to reveal the kingdom of God and his Son’s return.
So my goal is to change my thinking to view these times of upheaval as times to learn and grow. Instead of asking for God to take it away, I want to ask what God wants me to learn and how I can be obedient in my situation.
Seems like a daunting task, but God tells us in his Word that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. I won’t be perfect, that’s for sure. But it’s a goal worth reaching for.
Praying and believing,
*Photo by Sam LeVan