Hebrews 12:26-29 “And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’ And this expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”

Observation: Paul is using powerful language to describe the disciplines and hope of Christians. The things which cannot be shaken refer to God’s eternal kingdom to which all Christians belong and by extension, it refers to those priorities and practices I embrace as I grow more passionate in my pursuit of Him. What a wonderful promise of His unmovable, unchangeable nature.

Application: As I read this passage promising that shaking will come to everything that can be shaken, the imagery that came to me was of a gardener working among flowers and vegetables. As carrots or potatoes, the good products of a garden, are pulled from the ground, they receive a good shaking to knock away the clumps of soil that cling to them. So this shaking, while violent, is for a very good purpose: to cleanse the plant so it can be used for the purpose for which it was made. 

As I pull weeds from my garden, I give them, too, a good shaking, but for a different purpose: to assure their death. If I allow any clump of nurturing soil to remain, roots within those clods have an irritating way of springing to life again wherever I have tossed the weed.

So this is God’s good promise for me: He is the Good Gardener, wholly committed to preparing me for an eternal union with His dear Son. He promises to shake, to violently rock my areas of complacency, so my natural tendency to cling to earthiness, might fall away. The unwise habits or patterns of my life must  be once and for all put to death so what emerges will be the perfect fruit He intends for my life.

Prayer: Lord, You are indeed the Master Gardener, and I am so grateful for the shaking You have done and are doing. As You give me fresh glimpses of what You intend for my life in Christ to be, I choose today to cooperate with Your shaking. Cleanse me, Lord, knock off all the remaining clods, so I can be wholly useful in Your kingdom.