as you know from previous blog posts, i believe that God sometimes "speaks" to me with "themes", which are generally ideas or verses that come to my attention over and over in unrelated ways. God knows He must be repetitive with these lessons, because i surely wouldn't get it on the first time around.
this time, i believe there is something for me to be learned from the "threshing floor." i have come across this concept many times while reading the old testament and other books and blogs. so i have spent the past couple of weeks learning what it means for me.
an ancient threshing floor was simply the surface upon which a farmer would thresh and winnow the grain harvest. it was usually in a place that was exposed to the wind, like the side of a mountain, for example. the threshing, or beating and trampling of the grain by hand or livestock, would cause it to become loosened from the surrounding chaff, which is inedible. then the farmer would winnow the wheat by throwing the beatened grain into the air to allow the chaff to seperate from the grain completely. the lightweight chaff would blow away in the wind while the heavier seeds would fall back to the earth to be gathered.
it's a simple place where a seemingly violent process occurs. but it's a necessary process in order for the wheat to be worth something, in this case, that the grain would be edible for the farmer's family or village.
you see, the grain must die for it to have life.
"Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.'" ~John 12:23-24
there are so many examples around us, especially in nature, that the dying process is what allows for new life. even now, as we are entering the autumn season, the leaves will soon be falling and the grass and flowers will shrivel and die. but it is necessary in order for spring to bring forth new life. i think this is a beautiful example of Jesus' life. He died so that we may have life.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" ~2 Corinthians 5:17
i am so hopeful to see that this concept, albeit on a much smaller scale, is what God is doing in jonathan's life. yes, jonathan can still be healed. we pray for that. i would do just about anything if it would mean that jonathan would be born healthy and "normal." but i truly believe that God is showing me that jonathan's life might mean so much more in his death. knowing how many people jonathan's life is touching even now, i can't believe anything other than this would be true.
and i believe the process of threshing has been chosen for me. i don't attempt to understand fully what all this means for me. but perhaps this trial is the very tool God is using as i am being "threshed" and "winnowed"...where the worthless chaff in my life is removed completely and only the good remains. and while it is so very painful, He reminds me daily that He is the one leading me through it, and creating in me a stronger faith and character than what i had before it started. in the end, my "harvest" will be a blessing.
God uses threshing floors as places of significant events all throughout the old testament. the scripture that really speaks to me in my situation is 1 chronicles 21 where God tells king david to build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of araunah on mount moriah.
when david offered to buy the property from araunah, araunah told david he could have the property for nothing and that araunah would also supply the offering for the sacrifice upon the altar. "But King David replied to Araunah, 'No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.'" ~ 1 Chr 21:24
david understood that he could take the easy path or he could take the righteous path, and he chose to do what was right. an offering is not an offering unless it costs something. i pray with all my heart that one day i will stand before the Lord and He will tell me that by keeping jonathan, we did the righteous thing and not the "easy" thing. that because we allowed Him to use jonathan's life in His own way and His own timing, that the good that has and is still to come from it will glorify Him so much more.
"So David paid Araunah six hundred shekels of gold for the site. David built an altar to the LORD there..." 1 Chr 21:25-26
the humble threshing floor became a place of worship to the Holy God.
and, it keeps getting better: [years later] "Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David. " ~ 2 Chr 3:1
the beautiful temple, also known as the Most Holy Place, was eventually built on the very spot of that humble threshing floor. God had taken the altar of sacrifice and made it magnificent, the very place where He dwells.
i pray that this is my story: that i would build an altar to the Lord on this ground where i am being threshed; that i can still praise Him and worship Him, no matter the pain of what's been and what's to come in our journey. and that He will show me the beauty and blessings that can be harvested from such pain.