Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Threshing Floors

Be glad…rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains …He sends you abundant showers…The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil…You will have plenty to eat until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you” Joel 2:23-26.

There are many verses in the Bible that describe the process of threshing wheat.  Threshing the wheat is separating the meaty, nutrient-rich grain from the light, airy, and useless chaff.   Gideon most likely used a small instrument called a flail (two thick boards fused together, studded with sharp stone fragments on one side) to slowly knock the grain loose from the stalk. Gideon hunched over his sack of wheat, dedicated to the arduous task…as mundane and necessary for him as washing dishes and paying bills are to us.’  Gideon, p. 46.  Can you imagine how his back ached…hunched over…lifting bags…pounding the flail against the stalk producing the same thing every time? Over and over again…same repetitive actions…when would it end?  Did Gideon realize that in the mundane repetitiveness of his job rested God’s favor?  Did he know that the very thing he would be called to do – separating the idol worshippers from God’s people – was the very thing for which he was doing every day in the mundane…separating the wheat from the chaff…separating God’s plans from his plans. 

We all have our own threshing floors – that place in life where God has placed His favor upon our efforts.  It is meant for His favor and abundance but we forget the blessing in it.  We lose sight that it is the vehicle God has chosen uniquely for us to arrive at His place of blessings.  We forget that today’s tasks are preparation for tomorrow’s blessings.  We ask for future blessings and do not even recognize that where we are positioned now is the answered prayer to get to them.  My Bible Study sums this principle up beautifully:  ‘Threshing, in an agrarian biblical world, was a sign of God’s abundance.  In other words, the mere fact that Gideon had wheat to thresh was a symbol of God’s favor expressed to His people.’ Gideon, p. 48.

We must recognize and trust that God has us in the exact place for the perfect amount of time to accomplish not only His will but His best for our lives.  When we can do our own threshing – separating our emotions from our faith – then we will experience complete abundance on our threshing floors with our lives overflowing with praise and gratitude. 

‘Don’t despise the very things that signify your seat under the umbrella of God’s goodness each day.’ Gideon, p. 48.

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