This time last year I distinctively heard this scripture permeate my heart.
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:32
In Jesus’ day, harvesting wheat took much time and effort.
First, harvesters gathered the wheat stalks from the field. Then, they beat the stalks against a hard surface or used farm animals to pull a threshing sledge over the stalks to break them into pieces.
This process dislodged the grain from the stalks and the husks.
Next, the farmers tossed the mixture into the air.
The kernels, or whole seeds of grain, fell back onto the threshing floor, while the breeze blew the chaff away.
Finally, the kernels were carefully sifted to remove from them any undesirable materials.
True to Jesus’ words, Satan relentlessly attacked Jesus’ disciples back then, and he attacks us today. (Eph. 6:11)
It is true, not every difficulty we face in life is directly caused by Satan. (Eccl. 9:11)
This time last year I was searching for the right surgeon to repair multiple hernias and fix my abdominal muscles that were split apart and causing many structural problems in my body.
I had many appointments with different surgeons trying to find the one who would be the best fit for me.
I tried for many, many years, gentle methods and different modalities and therapists to address this issue naturally and got little to no relief. Surgery was my absolute last resort.
My idea of Satan sifting me like wheat possibly had to do with surgery, maybe during and after?
I was so wrong.
That was only the beginning.
My son was murdered 4 weeks after I had the surgery.
As the phone call was unfolding that horrific night and I was trying to calm my son Jami down after he told be that Billy got stabbed, a verse came to me.
“I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord”
I said out loud “Billy shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
I had Jami say that verse, we said it together and we put Billy’s name in there…
After I realized that Billy’s body had indeed died, my heart was stricken with intense sorrow and deep sadness and I was more broken than I had ever been.
I knew Billy was more alive than he had ever been but why didn’t God’s Word come to pass. Why did he physically die?
Then I started to remember what the Lord had put on my heart back in November 2017.
Satan desires to have you to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed that your faith will not fail. When you are converted, strengthen the brethren.
Knowing that Jesus is praying for me, that my faith will not fail, and that He did not say IF I am converted,but WHEN I am converted, strengthen the brethren.
I will continue to strengthen the brethren. I believe that although Billy’s body did die, he will live through my words and I will declare the works of the Lord in his honor.