Shaken, But Not Stirred

By G.P. Avants

Thank you for Mr. Bond for the reminder that life is sometimes a drink that we have to take as it comes. He may have only been talking about how he wants his martini serves, “Shaken, but not stirred,” But something else stirred in my when I thought about that line. Our choices in life often put us in places that can define us, refine us, or ruin us.

Can I share with you a little fear I live with everyday? Yes, it might be silly, but sometimes they say, confession is good for the soul.  I am generally pretty positive and upbeat. I hate to see conflict and disagreement. I have seen enough of that in my lifetime and have lived with the consequences. So, when I sit down and read a passage from the Bible or even an inspirational devotional that mentions trial, struggle, or challenged, a part of me holds its breath. I think that I am being told that some sort of trouble will find me today. Now, I know that’s not a healthy way to look at things. It’s like holding your breath before you plunge into dark icy water. There is a certain amount of uncertainty that could happen at any moment of our lives. 

Maybe that’s natural human nature to fear the unknown. We can always choose to take our hand off the door to the outside and dive back into bed, totally avoiding any unknown they day might bring. But where is life in that? I am not suggesting a total recklessness for safety for ourselves and our family as a way of life either.  But life is getting more wild and less civilized. That little wooded place we once thought were peaceful and safe might have darker patches where trouble might be hiding. Good people might find it easier to drive straight to work, keep their head and conversations limited, back in the car, drive into the house, close the garage door, and slip back into the relative safety of their home. It might feel like the right thing to do in order to protect ourselves, but is that really living day in and out?

As I write this passage I realize how much I am guilty of this practice. There are times when I pray and pray for an entire group at once, or in this case the body of believers in America, how about the world? I live in America, but I know from the wonderful bloggers I converse with that this is a world-wide issue. If you are a believer in Christ then you know we aren’t called to live a safe life. Jesus. That  very name invites danger into our lives. What really is disturbing to me are many people who are church goers are disappearing and it feels like a disconnect from the body. Are people letting fear and these difficult times shake their faith?

Do issues in this world stir us up and make us angry and hateful? Things things are going to come on everyone. We are not shielded from these things. But when we are shaken, or face trials, dangers, and troubles, the Lord promises to be the Rock we can stand on. That is one of many, manh promises that we can still bank on when we are feeling empty and depleted. 

Maybe life has made us drink from a spring that isn’t the most pleasant mouthful we have experienced. There are bitter things that we often have to swallow. But you know the Lord has a way to add His own presence into our lives and sweeten those things we are asked to partake.

I know life can be heavy and hard to handle. Seeing so many things going wrong and people turning sour or even hateful can be scary. Trust me, it breaks my heart every day when I see people throw away their hope for hopelessness. But maybe it’s time to add a few drops of Jesus sweetness to the drink in your hand.

Remember this: 

 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 3:8 

            “I will  never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 

“Thy  word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” 

                                                                                            Psalm 119:105

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding and He will direct thy path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. “ Psalm 34:8 

So if life is shaking you up, don’t be stirred to despair, numbness, or out of control anger.  Instead let Him be the one who restores you and strengths you for the course ahead. There is a fine line between being made firm and getting hard, melting away or being flexible. Trust that the Lord knows how to use everything that comes into a believer’s life to make them able to be a light in a chaotic storm. 

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