WHEN LIFE IS A THRESHING FLOOR: Chronicles of 2020
by Rev. Michelle L. Knight
A dear colleague described living life this year as “…a constant threshing floor.” Now, I may be a farmer’s granddaughter, but I needed to pause and consider that image for a good long moment.
I found in my research that ancient threshing floors processed various grains. Communities shared these circular stone areas. Farmers would pulverize their corn or wheat under the hoofs of their animals or with tools. The chaff and stalks separate by the pressure and intensity of constant pounding.
Unyielding pressure and intensity does sound a lot like 2020, doesn’t it?! We each feel tossed, trampled upon, and torn apart in our own ways. With my curiosity kindled, I re-read Holy Scripture to understand more what this image of the threshing floor might say about our lives today.
Sometimes Bible writers use it as a metaphor to unpack abundance and provision for both real and spiritual harvests. Re-read Ruth 3. Perhaps today there are those among us who find 2020 to be a time of abundance and provision: open calendars presented new opportunities for spiritual reflection and prayer; extra time with family because we are not commuting to the office; or we share with others out of the abundance we have received.
Other times the threshing floor is a message about judgment because of the separation. Check out 2 Samuel 24:18; Luke 3:16-17. Like a crucible fire that re-fines and re-shapes, some of us may experience 2020’s threshing floor as a re-molding, re-shaping, and re-fining time for our personal lives and choices as well as how our church represents Christ to the world.
Finally, the last portion of us may experience the threshing floor of 2020 as a season of suffering and pain: being beat down, pulverized, trampled over, and ground to a pulp. Paul describes this well in 2 Corinthians 6:4-5.
As I pray for you and me on 2020’s threshing floor, I am reminded about a time in which Jesus himself spoke about the threshing floor. In Luke 22:31-34, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon, look! Satan has asserted the right to sift you all like wheat. However, I have prayed for you that your faith won’t fail. When you have returned, strengthen your brothers and sisters”(CEB). How amazing that Jesus prays for you on the threshing floor! He’s got you – in the grip of prayer – no matter what The Evil One would like to do!!
Friends, as we continue to be Christ-centered within Central District, let us remember, even on the threshing floor of 2020, that 1) Jesus Christ has first loved us (read again I John 4:19), and 2) that Jesus Christ intercedes for us so that we will keep our faith and encourage others.
Our faith, because of Jesus’ prayers, will not fail no matter if we experience abundance, judgment, suffering, or a mixture of all three! Thanks be to God that Jesus meets us on the threshing floor of 2020!
On the floor with you,
Rev. Michelle L. Knight