“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of 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 NIV)
I feel like our family is being sifted like wheat. When wheat is sifted, the chaff is separated from the grain during the threshing process. What remains is the useful and nourishing wheat. Our faith is going through this process of testing.
Jesus tells Peter that he has prayed for him so that his faith may not fail. Prayers in Jesus name are prayers as powerful and useful as Jesus praying himself.
We feel very lifted up in prayer throughout the Church of Jesus Christ. We found out on Saturday that a friend was teaching at a Pastor’s conference last weekend. He received an email regarding the news of Mercy’s condition and had a time of prayer with the Pastors at the conference for us. This is very humbling. We have received multiple texts, emails, phone calls, and personal conversations with people who have told us they were praying for us. We received a message from an individual from Kentucky that was a stranger, yet introduced herself as a sister in Christ. Tuesday evening our Pastor and his wife came over after they heard the news simply to have a time of prayer together. God is good! Thank you so very much for interceding on our behalf in the name of Jesus. When our sifting is through, I trust that we will in turn “strengthen our brothers,” like Jesus said Peter would do.
3 comments on “Sifted Like Wheat”
We have met, though I’m not sure you’ll place me right away. I haven’t seen Karie in over a year for sure. We go to Bethlehem and live between Cambridge and North Branch.
I am so moved in my spirit to respond to the grief you are so rightly and beautifully feeling over the news of your daughter’s trisomy 18. What great love the Lord has granted you to deeply feel the wonder of Mercy’s newly created soul and desire her wholeness and health… And to desire the joy of knowing her, loving her, even from the womb. Not everyone feels that from the beginning… It is a gift. I am sorry, too, to hear the news of the loss of your son last year. I am hearing of both children just now, and I feel the heaviness of your grief. We, too, have been sifted over the past two years (in a very different way, and I don’t mean to compare) as our baby daughter Hannah has been fighting very high risk leukemia since the age of three months. She is doing well, but still faces a serious prognosis and high chance of relapse. The Lord holds us as we hold her… He knowing every day that is written in the book of her life… We turning each page with joy and trembling. A lot of trembling.
I’m so glad that you are able to turn to God for comfort and truth even as you work through your shaken foundation of the meaning of prayer in the face of suffering. The foundation will be stronger and more true for the shaking. And I know, because I write myself, that not every moment is feeling as faith filled and strong as your words that are posted on your blog, but I am encouraged by your faith and your sweet encouragement of your wife and children through this time as well. You are allowing yourself to be encouraged by the word, challenged by the word, confronted by the word, corrected by the word… It is such a gift that He is enabling you to continue this fight in faith. I know there were times we were too stunned by grief and exhaustion to pray anything but tears, and yet the word is always working and accomplishing its purpose, as is the body of Christ working on your behalf, and the Spirit himself is interceding with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26). I will pray you continue to have those encouraging you and also that you will continue to be strengthened to encounter all God has for you as you love Karie, Mercy and your other children through these days.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Please tell Karie I will be praying for all of you.
Much love from Sara Shull
Thank so so much for your comforting words and prayers. I do indeed remember you and your beautiful family. I also remember the struggle you went, and are even now going through; I am sorry, and likewise encouraged by your faith. Karie was the one who had kept me updated regarding Hannah through your blog or some other source on the web. By default, it is hard to think that a shaken foundation is a stronger one in the long run, yet I know this is true. Thank you for the text from Isaiah. It seems exactly what I needed this morning as I wake.
I just came back and found your reply and then saw that I had written trisomy 18 in my comment, instead of 13. I just wanted you to know I realized it was 13 AND more importantly that I am praying for you continually. Ps. Loved the Caribou pic of your girls.