I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and what I’ve learned from my love of tea. There’s a final process that has shaped who I am as a person: the stirring process. Once you’ve found your favorite tea, allowing it to steep, then the stirring process seals the deal. This is the point where we create a refreshing flavor that is soothing to the soul. This is also the part of the process that I’ve found myself in presently.
During this final step, it’s important to make sure your tea has flavor. Who enjoys tea without the perfect amount of sweetness? For the taste of the drink to be perfect, we make sure there’s plenty of sugar, lemon, and honey to create the perfect concoction. When I think about something being stirred, it involves movement. Some may describe stirring as a violent process where something goes from calm to agitated.
When we think about this process in our lives, it isn’t glamorous.
What does it mean when we are stirred?
We go from one state to the next. We go from our comfort zone to challenge.
We are challenged to embrace who we are now, which is in conflict with who we have become comfortable being.
We are not in control of the stirring process, but we are responsible for how we respond in the process. It’s in this same process we learn how to respond.
This is presently the challenging part of the journey for me. Stirring means change. Change means different. Different can include discomfort. I think I’ve been pretty transparent about how I don’t enjoy being uncomfortable.
What is the most natural thing to do, or so I deceived myself? Hide. We feel that by abandoning the process of stirring that we have found the path to living stress-free. Until you are selected and steeped in another season of life. I remind myself (and encourage you) that this is a process worth experiencing. It’s far from easy, but God has a plan for it.
Does God allow us to be stirred because He doesn’t love us? Quite the contrary.
He doesn’t do it to punish us.
He doesn’t want us to hurt.
He has a purpose for the process.
James 1: 2-4 tells us:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way (MSG).
God has a way of using the experiences of our lives and providing us with opportunities to be on display for His glory. If we abandon the experience prematurely, we don’t allow Him to complete His perfect work in us. I’m sure that Horatio G. Spafford never imagined that his life would be stirred to such a degree that a song born from tragedy, It is Well with My Soul, would bring reassurance to generations he would never meet. I’m sure Martin Luther King never imagined that his dream, born during a racially charged time in our nation’s history, would stir people to join together and his vision become the rallying cry for humanity. I’m sure you may not realize that the public stirring you have endured has privately helped someone walking through a similar season. It has.
There are times where I want to avoid this step. I haven’t always faced it with a smile.
If I said, I’ve never asked God, “why me” I would not be true to my story.
If I said I never felt uneasy about my journey, I would deny my humanity.
If I never admitted that there are some days I could quit because I don’t understand the process, I would be hypocritical.
I have been stirred and keep being stirred. From the stirring comes some of the books you all enjoy, the events that bring hope, and the wisdom that comes from walking this journey out.
When you understand that when moments of uncertainty come that you are being stirred, but not shaken, you can learn how to say:
It is well, it is well with my soul. Embrace your stirring process.
Have you been stirred recently? What reminders do you need to embrace this journey?