On the Threshing Floor

How many of you have read the Book of Ruth in the Bible?  If you know the story, then you remember how Ruth met Boaz on the threshing floor in a match made in heaven.  It took me a long time to realize just what a threshing floor is.  If my memory of reading commentaries serves me correctly, the threshing floor in ancient times was located on the top of a hill where the breeze would be almost constant.  The farmers would harvest their fields and bring the wheat stalks to the threshing floor where they would break the heads of wheat open (this is where my knowledge gets fuzzy).  Then they would toss the wheat into the air.   The breeze would catch the chaff and blow it away, allowing the grain to fall back to the threshing floor to be collected.

Monday evoked that picture for me.  The entire nation and world was caught up in events beyond their control, tossed about like chaff in the wind.  Now, I’m not going to go into the whole root of the financial situation.  That’s the topic for another blog, and I’m sure many people with more expertise than I have already obliged.  No, yesterday exposed in me something that required God’s discipline.  Fear and doubt.

You see, my husband and I are considering buying a house.  Now, some people may raise their eyebrow and ask, “In these economic times?”  To which I’ll say, “Well, no time was a good time for Noah to build an ark.”  We’ve prayed about it, and God has given us the vision to have a house that can be a place of refuge for both missionaries who are Stateside and refugees who need a place to rest before continuing on their journey.  Both my husband and I share this vision.

So when the markets plummeted this week, I sank into despair.  Fear took over.  And worse, I began frantically thinking of options that could only echo the Wall Street panic.  My husband and I began praying about it, and in the end, we both heard and felt the same thing.  “Hold the course.”  We decided keep on like we had.

So what did I learn?  Well, lots, which was brought out in a Bible study on Deuteronomy.  In the last half of Chapter 1 (vv. 19-46), Moses recounts how the Israelites were preparing the first time to go up into the Promised Land.  They had some concerns, some doubts.  When they asked for spies to go into the land ahead of them to spy it out, God obliged.  Moses appointed 12 spies.  They came back with the bounty of the land and also with stories of how formidable the people and fortifications were.  All spies but two were afraid.  The people began murmuring against Moses.  God got angry and decreed that the people would wander in the desert for 40 years as a form of discipline until the present, doubting generation died away and those who remained truly trusted God.  Of course, no one liked that, not one bit.  So they decided to go up and fight anyway, without God’s blessing.  It was a rout and one that wasn’t in their favor.  So not only did they get routed, but they still wandered the desert for 40 years.

So why am I rambling like this?  Because doing that lesson and talking with my husband made me realize several things.

  • God gave us this vision.  We’ve walked with Him on each step so far.  If this is the plan He has for us, it will come to pass.
  • Fear is not of God.  If fear is not of God, then it means that we’re trusting in our own weak flesh and strength, not His strength.
  • We need to move boldly when everyone else thinks we’re crazy.  When Noah started building the ark, I’m sure everyone thought he was crazy too.

God gives us the desires of our hearts.  The key is that it takes extensive prayer for our will to align with His.  He is a loving Father, and He delights in giving us our desires, so long as they aren’t selfish.  Hence the need for prayer.

So as I lay first in bed crying as I felt His gentle hand disciplining me and then on the couch so I wouldn’t keep Hubby awake, I came to the realization that I had no choice but to trust in Him during this time.  He’s provided financially for us before.  There were times I thought I couldn’t pay the rent.  He provided.  Then when I thought we couldn’t pay our bills after first getting married.  He provided.

So we’re holding our course.  Waiting.  Knowing that if God is for us, who can be against us? Check it out in Romans 8:28-39.  I hope that in the future, I’ll be the wheat that falls at the feet of God instead of the chaff that gets blown about in winds of uncertainty and worry.

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1 Comment

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  1. Kathy says:

    Great, faith-inspiring post!! You and Steve have really gotten hold of God’s vision for your life. I’m really encouraged by this 🙂