“This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:27-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

Have you ever felt like a snow globe? Everything seems peaceful and stable, and then with a few shakes your whole world is in turmoil. Or maybe a tree better describes your life. When there is an abundance of moisture and sun not even strong winds can so much as remove a leaf from your branches. But as the days grow colder, drier, and shorter even a light breeze pulls the leaves off by the yard full.

While excavating archaeology sites, at least as depicted on TV, shovels full of dirt are placed in boxes which have a bottom made with a mesh of sorts. The box is then shaken and the dirt and small rocks fall through the mesh, but small artifacts are retained inside. In this manner, that which is of no consequence is removed, while that which is of value remains.

God allows our circumstances to shake us. When we commit to live for Jesus, we commit to growing in our faith. Often times that involves releasing our white-knuckled grip on misplaced trust or letting go of things that do not serve to advance our faith.

For example, we have a tendency to put too much stock in the familiar and comfortable because it’s simply easier than relying on Him whom we cannot see. We trust the guidance of our friends because we can have intimate, face-to-face, audible conversations with them. We trust ourselves and our jobs to provide for us because our work is a part of who we are, and our paychecks are tangible. We entrust our retirement years to our investments because that’s just how it is done.

None of these things are wrong in themselves. Friends. Work. Financial planning.

But what happens to our faith when friends betray us, we lose our job, or the market crashes? Shaking like that reveals who we are and what we believe down to the core. The leaves fall off and the dirt passes through the sieve, and then what remains?

While these shakings we experience can be painful, making us feel as though there is nothing left of us, we must always recognize that the shaking works for our good. Then we must learn to recognize and be grateful for what remains. And as an outflow of that recognition we worship. We learn where we need to change our hearts and minds until our ultimate trust is found in Christ. That can never be shaken!

Blessings on your weekend!

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