Last night I got to sit down for a few minutes and just think, and pray, and listen. Kind of difficult, too many things floating around in my head! I'm sure you've been there. I thought that I wish there was an easier way to sift through all this stuff, and I felt like God said to let Him be the sifter, complete with the picture of my mom's old tin flour sifter. So... today I'm thinking about sifting.
Some of the reasons to sift are: 1) flour will compact during storage & handling, but doesn't compact at the same rate, 2) flour can be lumpy, 3) it can have additional random protein (insects), grain hulls or foreign particles from packaging, 4) sifting allows for even distribution of other dry ingredients in the flour mixture, and 5) sifting adds air to the flour which will aid any raising agents making the mixture fluffy.
How can I apply this and how does God sift the things in my life? I know that some areas of my life are good, there are areas where I don't really struggle but then there are other BIG areas where I do. This is like the contents of a sack of flour settling in transit, requiring sifting for accurate measuring. God works in my life to give me balance, and He takes extra care to 'get the lumps out.' Sifting introduces air to flour to precipitate the optimum reaction with other ingredients, resulting in a better, lighter texture. God often allows things in my life that brings results that I can't see yet, but trust will be worth the extra effort. Sifting also removes anything extra, anything that doesn't belong in the flour. Often times, the 'extra' stuff in life, like in the flour, can be easy to miss or dismiss and the process of sifting makes them easy to pick out and dispose of. Sifting can also aid in getting proper mixtures of ingredients, or preventing one area of life from getting too overwhelming.
With today's technology many bakers forgo the process of sifting. Manufacturing has found ways to usually keep our flour bug free, settle free & lump free, but many avid bakers still praise sifting, calling it a needed component to a great end product. I think I am being sifted. I think you are too. I know God is removing unnecessary chaff from my life, I know there are ingredients He introduces to create the end product He wants, I know He's taking care of some lumps and loosening up some areas where I'm kind of compacted & hard. I think I can be pretty hard to work with. Thank God I know the Sifter.