Pastor Jim Stultz
Shaking the Tree
I remember when I was a child my dad would take our family out in the country where there was a persimmon tree. He told me to climb up that tree and shake the branches. As I carefully made my way up the tree and shook the branches ripe persimmons fell off and the rest of the family gathered them. We would then take the fruit home and make what is called persimmon pudding.
Shaking the tree was necessary for the fruit to fall. I have discovered that there are times when our Heavenly Father has to shake his children as well. The godly man Job had his whole life shaken up by the Devil. The Lord allowed this period of testing in Job’s life to demonstrate the godly character of this man. He endured a financial shaking, a family shaking, and a physical shaking. The ripe fruit of a godly character fell and you and I reading his story can be encouraged. Peter, another Bible character was shaken. Luke 22:31,32 says: “And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren". Peter was sifted and shaken. He lied and denied. He departed and followed afar off, but after the resurrection he became a rock for the Lord.
Is God allowing your tree to be shaken? Are you experiencing intense trials that are devastating your world? If that is true, God is up to something. Perhaps when your tree is shaking God is trying to wake you up. It could be the shaking the Father is doing is to reveal areas of weakness that need to be strengthened. Shaking also has the tendency to remove the dead branches from our lives. One final thing that I learned from that persimmon tree is that shaking sometimes is the only way to get the ripe fruit to fall. God desires not to hurt us but to help us. When He shakes our tree, He only wants to see the ripe fruit fall.