A Personal Shaking

Hebrews 12:27 “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.”

Observation: Paul filled this chapter with good advice for living, and he assured that God, who once “shook the earth” by appearing on Mt. Sinai, will again shake everything that can be shaken. God prophesied this shaking in Haggai 2:6, and Paul warned us to expect its fulfillment in our day. Ultimately, our only hope of rescue, according to Paul, is described in Hebrews 12:28: “Therefore since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God our acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”

Application: I experienced a foretaste of this shaking as I made the final trip to the home my wife Cindy and I shared before her death. The process of leaving the house itself had not been particularly difficult.  Illness had limited her life there to a hospital bed other than occasional wheelchair-bound forays to family gatherings beyond our bedroom. The whole of the house had never really been her domain. As I lingered momentarily in the doorway of our now-empty bedroom, I found myself instantly transported back to the edge of the abyss as renewed awareness of death, loss, and separation again washed over my heart, startling me by the power and freshness of its unwelcome intrusion. 

This is, of course, not the ultimate shaking Paul tells me to expect, but it was useful nonetheless. When the shaking Paul writes of comes, it will utterly and profoundly change all that is familiar. Death will be one of its components, but not its fullness. Peering into our empty bedroom was a good metaphor of what is yet to come. Just as taste buds spring to life from smell alone long before a favorite food enters the mouth, so do these momentary, personal shakings foreshadow what is yet to come. And with the same measure of certainty as death itself, I can absolutely count on the great and final shaking, the one designed to remove all things that can be shaken. 

The only place of safety is under the wings of the Lord Jesus. He alone is the immovable Rock; His alone is the only kingdom that cannot be shaken. Only the light of His majesty can overtake the abyss of unspeakable loss I saw that day as I turn my gaze once again toward Him. For it is upon that Rock, the truth of Who Christ is, that His kingdom is built, and hell itself shall not prevail against it.

Prayer: O Lord, how thankful I am that You are my Rock, my Shelter. In You I rest. In You alone I find peace.

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