What step in this recipe is not usually found in modern recipes?
Did you guess sifting?
Back in the 1930’s sifting was necessary to eliminate pieces of husk, seeds, debris and bugs, (yes, bugs!), from the flour.1 Sifting then and today removes lumps and aerates dry ingredients. What happens if we don’t sift? Those unremoved lumps will weigh down batter, making our baked goods dense and even sunk in the middle.2 We may also bite into an unpleasant lump of dry flour. So, if our recipe requires sifting, don’t skip it, sift it!
How about our debris?
We all have debris. It’s the leftovers from stressful situations that we carry. When we carry debris, what are we passing around to others?
How about all those things that “bug” us? When those “bugs” bite, don’t we take it out on those around us?
GRRR! A bad day at work!
Who at home receives our debris?
BRRRING! PINGG! Our phone bugs us with alerts and calls!
How kind are we when we answer?
SQUEE! CRASH! (SILENCE) At home with overly energetic children all day?
How patient are we then?
On those stressful days when we pass our debris onto someone else, what happens? That person gets mad and resent us or feels hurt and rejected. They in turn, may take out their feelings on the next person they see.
So, we all just keep passing around a batch of un-sifted cookies.
Maybe we all need a little sifting in our lives.
Think of God as our sifter. Just as the flour was sifted by placing it into the sifter, our bugs and debris are sifted by placing them into God’s hands.
But let’s face it, right now life is not “normal.” It is easy to become stressed. The next thing we know we have passed around un-sifted cookies! So, how do we avoid that?
Here are a few practical and spiritual tips.
RELAX & REFOCUS
When your situation gets too hot to handle, get out the oven mitts! Remove yourself from the heat long enough to cool off. Take time to relax by adding in a few deep breaths, or mix a walk into your day.
Refocus on the victory God can have over the situation.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57
CHANGE THE ATMOSPHERE
How about a scoop of joy and praise? Mix it into your day by listening to praise music. The atmosphere will change and unpleasant lumps dissolve. It certainly drains the tension from me.
It even works on dogs!
When I turned on music, two constantly barking dogs stopped!
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3 KJV
(God dwells in our praise.3)
When stress has us whipped into a froth, what do we do? Fill up with TV, computer, video games or candy?
Instead of candy, how about filling up with God’s word? Scripture will give us more joy than candy and eliminate those unpleasant lumps lingering in our hearts.
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
Don’t’ we feel better after sharing a distasteful experience with a friend? What about sharing it with the Lord? He can handle all the un-sifted cookies we need to share. He can even tell us how to change the recipe so we don’t get those lumpy cookies again.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
So, what do all of these tips have to do with sifting?
The key to sifting flour’s debris?
1st put it into the sifter.
2nd have faith that the sifter will get rid of it.
The key to sifting our debris?
1st put it into the hands of God, our sifter.
2nd Have faith that God will get rid of it.
When we refocus on God, praising, praying and reading His word, He is sifting us. However, it takes time. Just like it takes time for all the flour to fit through the sifter, it takes time for us to be sifted as well. Through it all, we can have faith that God will get rid of the debris.
Because God loves us, He wants to sift the debris and bugs out of our hearts and minds. In their place, God wants to put the fruit of His Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control. Against such there is no law.
So, when our debris requires sifting, don’t skip it, let God sift it!
Are you passing around un-sifted cookies? If so, what could you do to refocus on God?
Heavenly Father, search my heart today and reveal any un-sifted cookies I have passed around. As I write Galatians 5:23 and say it aloud, please sift me, help me to focus on You and fill me with the fruit of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.
PLACE THINGS IN GOD’S HANDS, OUR GREAT SIFTER.
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May your day be filled with love and laughter!
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3 Strong’s Concordance #3427, inhabitest
Photo dogs, Vincent Van Zalinge