Monthly Archives: September 2016

Time Of Sifting

Preparing maize to be ground and sifted.

Preparing maize to be ground and sifted.


Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me physically; I am fighting hard to get my strength back, but even the smallest task starts chest pains to the point of genuine discomfort, so back to bed I go!  Trying to find a task I could do while resting; I began sorting through some of our digital pictures of our years as missionaries in Africa. This was a “quiet” activity and one that would fill me with treasured memories which was good therapy!

I came across one that reminded me of a scene that I had witnessed time and time again. It was a picture of an African mother with her daughter stripping dried maize (corn) kernels from the cob, to prepare it to be ground on a flat rock until it was a coarse meal mixed with the husks and dust. Beside the mother lay an empty sifting basket. Once she had enough kernels ground, she would put the coarse meal in that curved basket and with a deft twist of her arms and hands toss the meal into the air, then catching it in the basket. She repeated this process over and over until the meal was completely free of the ground husks and dust and a soft meal lay ready for cooking.

I sat looking at the picture and was transported back to that village in my mind to the point that the mixed smells of the cooking fires, dust, clucking hens and happy chatter filled me with a deep longing to “go home”!

Musing over the memories that this picture evoked it reminded me that as we journey in our life God’s sifting process is going on still. Wherever we go, we are still being winnowed and sifted.

In all countries God’s people are being tried “like as corn is sifted in a sieve.”

Sometimes the devil holds the sieve, and tosses us up and down at a great rate, with the earnest desire to get rid of us forever.

Unbelief is not slow to agitate our heart and mind with its restless fears.

The world lends a willing hand at the same process, and shakes us to the right and to the left with great vigor.

Worst of all, the church, so largely apostate as it is, comes in to give a more furious force to the sifting process. Yet none of the outside influences succeed!

Let us not fear this sifting process as painful as it may seem; let it go on!

This is how the chaff is severed from the ground grain.

This is how the ground grain is freed from impurities that would spoil its usefulness.

The scripture speaks of the sifting process:

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Amos 9:9

How great is the mercy which comes to us in this text, “yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth”! All shall be preserved that is good, true and righteous!

Not one of the least of believers shall be lost; neither shall any believer lose anything worth calling a loss!

We shall be so kept in the sifting process and it will be a real gain to us through Christ the Master sifter.

I encourage you today, don’t cringe from being sifted as it is God purifying and preparing you for great usefulness in His Kingdom!