My roommate from seminary, Pastor Grady Williams, once illustrated a powerful truth…one that we can all benefit from by letting it sink into our troubled minds. We were at a restaurant and discussing something to do with one of our classes. We were discussing the verse which begins,
“That which can be shaken will be shaken…”
I was waxing eloquent with big words and nuanced meanings. Grady picked up the container they use for sugar or sugar substitute packets which the waitress had dutifully crammed so full that one could not extricate just one packet. He picked it up and shook it violently so that the packets went flying.
Then with a smile, he showed me the now half-full container, and said “That which can be shaken will be shaken….so that which cannot be shaken may remain…”
The Greek word Hinna means so that…or so…
It is used to denote a purpose clause.
The shaking in our lives has a purpose. And the purpose is to remind us that when the shaking starts, some things will be tossed aside but the eternal purposes of God cannot be thwarted. “You are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken…kept in heaven for you…” the scripture says. You have need for endurance the Bible says…Those who endure to the end shall be saved” said Jesus. The Greek word for endurance is translated “remain under…or continue under…”
“Who can go the distance? we’ll find out in the long run…” The Eagles song asks.
Let me assure you with one the most comforting verses I know. “He who began a good work in you…will bring it to completion in Christ Jesus….” You and I, to be sure, are works in progress. But the outcome is sure. From the Lord’s end of things, we are already assured that He will give us what we need to remain… though the foundations of the earth may be shaken.
Would you please pass me the sugar?