1. to separate and retain the coarse parts with a sieve.
2. to examine
3. to question closely
I had an interesting email chat with a dear friend of mine the other day. It was one of those conversations that continuously replays in my mind on a subject that I began to pray for a couple months back, but then it came to a head at the right moment with her loving and reaffirming words.
I'm a girl. I talk to other girl-friends about my emotions, how i'm feeling during a particular time, my life's happenings, my relationships, my struggles, dreams, thoughts, etc. and it's SO easy because they can all relate. We're women - we're wired differently than men. Period.
However, when I get into relationships with men, I feel like I'm incapable of expressing these emotions because I'm afraid I'm going to get rejected, put down, or laughed at (which have all three happened at one point or another in my years of dating experiences!). Plus, I think I've taken "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23) to a whole new level when I do get into a relationship!
Anyway, she brought up a fabulous point about 'sifting'. I began to think of my past relationships as a panning for gold (the future Mr. of my life being the piece of gold). And granted, I know it's referred to as 'panning' for gold, but humor me for a minute while I 'sift'...
When you sift for gold, a person would place the ore in a large metal or plastic pan, with water, and agitate it so that the gold particles would settle to the bottom. The sand, mud and gravel would be washed over the side of the pan, leaving the gold behind.
I have my own version of God putting me in this nice, big pan called life and helping me sift out the sand, mud or muck that is going on around me in order to find that one piece of gold. And right now, I'm so cool with letting Him do all of the work.
Ironically, I ran over this passage in Judges 7:4 :
But the LORD said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you,' he shall go; but if I say, 'This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."
Granted, this is an excerpt taken out of context (Gideon was to take over the Midianites and God was sifting out the men who feared the Lord), but I still thought it was ironic...
In the past, my friends have always teased me about my dating processes - it has always been Feast or Famine. When there is one who is asking me out, there are three more on his heels... but when there are none - seriously, I hear crickets...
THAT has been my prayer the last few months; for God to continue to sift through the people that I meet (though that sounds a bit impersonal). I don't want to get tangled up in a web of dating that leads to another tear-jerker of a break up. I don't want to meet families and friends if 'he' isn't the one that God has specifically picked out for me. I don't want to take anything away from the future Mr. by giving away pieces of my heart for 'free' because I'm too stubborn to wait for His best.
I want to be with somebody who honors and respects me, somebody who also has positive people in their lives that raise them up as a person and a friend, somebody who can accept my vices and virtues... and for me to be able to do the same for him...
I want God's best for me. And I will wait for His best because I am worth His best.