Like any normal person, I thought I would use the handrail while galloping down the stairs at my friend’s apartment. I had just enjoyed a small group meeting with some of my most favorites girlfriends and I wanted to get down the stairs quick and jump in my car. It was half past eight and I’m old and I needed to get home to my bed. I slid my hand down that rail and about half way down I felt something really mushy.I mean REALLY mushy. Apparently an ENTIRE flock of elephant sized birds claimed that spot as their dumping ground and I had just raked my hand through that poop situation. After gagging a few seconds I tried desperately to sling as much of it off as I could but it was to no avail. I ended up just finding another spot to wipe my hands off on good enough so I could at least drive home. I had the plague on my hand and I wanted it gone!
Ironically our group had spent the entire evening talking about purity and how important it is and I followed it up with flinging myself into a poop situation. And that’s exactly how it happens in our spiritual lives too. There we are, skipping through life, having a good time with our friends and family-smiles and giggles and saying things like, “Life is good (insert happy face emoji),” when bam we find ourselves flung into a poop situation. It can happen in an instant and it can be devastating.
There needs to be a sign hanging in front of us at all times that says “PAY ATTENTION!” or “BEWARE-POOP AHEAD!” but we don’t have that option. This scripture is speaking volumes to me right now about this topic. Jesus said to Peter:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has [a]demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31.
Actually that “you” is in the plural context. He was telling the disciples that satan wanted to sift ALL of them. He wanted to send them all uniquely personalized poop situations. He wanted to pollute their purity somehow which would cause ineffectiveness. But notice Jesus didn’t say that He wouldn’t allow satan to sift; He just told them that He prayed that their faith would not fail. So in other words- the sifting is going to happen-the poop situations are going to come and we can’t stop that BUT we can choose to stand in our faith and let the sifting do what it is meant to do which is refine us.
Sifting of wheat in ancient times was a 2 fold process. First the farmer harvested the wheat and laid it out on a stone floor. He then proceeded to BEAT the heck out of the wheat with a flail. This caused the chaff to loosen itself from the edible part of the grain. Without that intense flailing the grain part will not separate and is of no use to us as food. Next, the farmer winnows the wheat by using a fork to toss it into the air. Interestingly, the chaff blows away because it’s light and can be easily carried away by the wind while the grain is heavy and falls back to the ground.
I love this because it shows us that even though satan DEMANDS permission to throw it on us-beat us down over and over and toss us in the air hoping we will cave-what he doesn’t realize is it’s actually going to set us free! His efforts are actually going to do us a favor and refine us-removing from us the impure parts of our lives that consistently encumber us and weigh us down. He’s partially responsible for helping us move from glory to glory. Ha take that jerk (insert smarty pants emoji)!
If you are in a poop season don’t despair! If you remain faithful and stay close to God the test will only remove things you DON’T need. Things that are polluting your purity-maybe it’s a foul mouth, an anger problem, an addiction or a complicated relationship. Don’t throw your hands up and walk away. See it for what it is and allow God to transform you by allowing satan to sift you. It hurts but it will be worth it.