At one particular moment in my life, not long ago, I asked God what He doing in my life. He brought to me Heb. 12:27 – not necessarily a verse I wanted to hear. I was hoping for something like “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23) What God said instead was that He was about “the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
Shaken! Is this not the word of our time? It seems like everything and everyone is being shaken.
Well, God followed through on what He said – He always does. He shook me and my world, and things started to fall apart. I was in a season of uprooting not planting, tearing down not building up, scattering not gathering. There is a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3).
The good thing is that seasons change.
The hard thing is that seasons change.
It seemed like all the things that I loved and were familiar and comfortable with, from relationships, to my work, to the way I did life were being shaken. In the shaking, that which is truest about us is revealed, both the good and the bad, who we truly are and what we have falsely become. The assurance of God is that those things which cannot be shaken will endure and remain, and those things which are untrue will fall.
As a friend told me, lies have speed but truth has endurance.
Ultimately, at the end of the shaking a decision must be made. Will we realign our life to what God has revealed as the truest things about us or will we try to pick up all the things that are lying on the ground from the shaking and reattach them? Realignment or reattachment.
As Elrond said to Aragorn in The Return of the King, “Put aside the Ranger, become who you were born to be.” The Ranger was a good man fulfilling an important role, but there was a greater, more needed role for Aragorn. He was more than a Ranger now. He had become a king. You are not who you were five year ago, or one year ago. There is always something to “put aside” and something to “become”.
Thomas Kempis wrote, “A man is raised up from the earth by two wings—simplicity and purity. There must be simplicity in his intention and purity in his desires. Simplicity leads to God, purity embraces and enjoys Him.”
God’s great purpose in a season of shaking is to raise us up, allowing us to live as pilgrims – for pilgrims travel lightly but with great purpose. It is the cry and the struggle of every human heart to understand our truest desire and created intention. God will reveal it, “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him” (Phil. 2:13 ISV) and He “will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” (Psalm 32:8)
“Noble simplicity is the psyche of heroes” – unknown author
What season does God have you in? What things are no longer appropriate or helpful in your life, from what you know about your true self at this moment? What must you put aside, and what must you become?
With you in pursuing noble simplicity,
This is a most timely and appropriate message for me.
Thank you for sharing this. It is a most definite answer to prayer.
Wow. That’s really encouraging to hear.
Too true of the last few years. And now he is building back up.
So its not just me being shaken!!!!!
This whole shaking thing hurts….
Yes it does. Hang in there Beth…let’s all hang in there.
I lost my job a year before I planned to retire and found myself in an impossible situation at church. In the last 6 months I have become useful in my old job prn and have started another very part time job in my profession. I am at a new church, teaching, leading a band, and my life has entered a new springtime at age 70! It was a “Season of Shaking”. I can relate to your blog! Buz Mayo is a good friend and that’s how I found out about your blog.
About 30 mins before I received your blog in my in box, we experienced a small earthquake in the West LA area. Hmmm…You have my attention. Thank you Gary for this, I will be taking the questions you posed to My Father.
The last thing that is burned off when purifying gold is silver.
That’s amazing. I did not know that.
Thanks, Gary! As always, you are right to the point for many of us. I am also going through a season of shaking, but God also revealed Himself more tangibly than ever. He is there with loving kindness, He is there smiling at us and gives us something new we need and takes away the stuff we don’t need. This is a divine exchange, where we always come out with a better deal!
Well said, Gabriel.
Great message Gary and a place that I am at as well. I seem to keep going back and picking things up though instead of continuing to walk toward that Mountain that is in front of me. I have to learn who are the truest ones that are on he same path and are willing to walk with me. Thanks for the shake up. I needed to hear your words. Miss you brother.
I miss you too, Ralph.
Wow. So timely for me. (And others it appears!) Definitely in a season of shaking. Taken many wounds and much exposure of my style of relating. Ouch…all of it. I feel more naked than I ever have. Yet I know that this is for my good. There is something actually enticing me to lean into this season. Maybe it’s as you said: I want to know…really know what is true of me (and what is not). Thanks for sharing!!
Oh Yvette, you’re welcome. I’m glad that this shaking season of yours is enticing.
I needed this. I didn’t know it until I started reading. Then I cupped my hands over my face and just cried. The last five years have been an earthquake. Everything shaken. Rubble everywhere. But something true, good and noble is emerging. I think it’s who I always knew myself to be but living in the shadows – chained really. And maybe I am being released to do what I’ve always longed to do -what’ve believed I was meant to do in Christ’s kingdom. We’ll see. Gary, thank you for your transparency, honesty and for sharing your journey.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither.
Deep roots are not touched by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
J. R. R. Tolkien
Brad, thank you for sharing your life so transparently. If you are in a winter season, then God is taking you to spring and summer. Sorry for switching metaphors. Persevere with hope my friend. Gary
I am searching about things being shaken after coming home from church, and having a horrible fight with my boyfriend during the drive. Feeling unheard, old woulds of sexual abuse, of being a victimized, voiceless little girl- i feel angry, scared, unsure, empowered, sick of it, and hopeful all at the same time. I sort of had a sense that God was stirring this up on purpose, as it seems to be a regular theme lately in my inner life. I don’t know just what the Lord is doing, but however awkward I feel, like a deer just being born not able to walk right yet, He is stirring so much in me. God is shaking it up… your article helped me find some peace and comfort, along with the comments and responses. Thank you.
Between the Sheer Beauty Retreat and your blog, I am hearing more clearly that the shaking I have been experiencing is not of my doing and certainly not( as many Christians have told me) about me being disobediant-such liberating news for my heart. It all is giving me a light on the events of the past 3 years-a dawning so to speak of God’s purposes being revealed!!!
My wife and I have come back to this message countless times over the past several months. Though the message is hard it has brought peace. Thank you.
Gary, I love your video blogs, books, and writings. Thank you for your heart. I have taken the “1 week of asking and seeking challenge” this past week, then came across this blog entry. My quick back story…I’ve been a lay worship leader in whatever church I’ve been a part of it since the late 90’s. This role intensified in the mid 2000’s, and, after hearing your ‘Calling’ cds I was convinced I needed to pursue being a worship pastor. That this was my calling.I loved playing guitar, singing, and most importantly, I loved the idea of pastoring a team of musicians and introducing the message I had learned from Ransomed Heart and from your writings and speaking. I actively searched for jobs in this field for 2+ years to no avail. Several times I got very close and was even convinced a few times that I would be offered a job but it never happened. Finally, I was asked to be the interim worship pastor at a church and I did this for 6 months. It was a beneficial time but also hard, as I was working another job part time and couldn’t devote my whole heart and attention to it. Again, I was hoping I would be hired as the full-time worship pastor but once again, I was not chosen. By the end of my time, I was glad it was over and I no longer wanted to be a worship pastor. We started attending new church and, since I still loved music and guitar I soon joined the worship team as a guitarist and back-up vocalist and also a substitute worship leader. Recently, our worship pastor resigned suddenly, and one of the first things that ran through my mind was, “Oh no, now the church is gong to ask me to fill in as the worship leader/pastor. I am stunned at my thoughts. I was convinced this was my calling and I really loved doing this 4 years ago. Now, whenever, I’m asked to lead my first thought is, “I don’t want to do that.” When I do lead, I get very positive affirmation from my wife but more importantly, from others who very much like when I lead and support my gifting in this area. I’m confused by these feelings.
So timely! Not only was I thinking about the earthquakes over the past day or so, but also Rememberance Day (Veterans Day) and the pounding my Great Uncle must have endured during the struggles of WW1. Then there’s my own prolonged personal struggles in recent years that God warned me would be lengthy and come with some shaking thunder. And now today I’m moving from one shaking to another as I return to work after a tumultuous couple of months on stress leave. During all this time the term “alignment” has been the theme. I even took up archery and learned the key to a true shot was alignment rather than aim or focus alone. The next stage of my life is not to be a reassembling but a casting off. I’ve been here before but it’s time to part with the ranger and become who I was meant to be. Thanks for your insights Gary!
Wow, Michael. Well said. Thank you! Gary
Gary, thank you for reposting this one. It could not be more relevant to where I am at this time.
Robin, you are so welcome. I’m it was helpful! Gary