Shaken, Not Stirred


I’ve never had a martini, but there have been many times when I thought I could really use one—shaken, not stirred, like agent 007 orders them.

It’s this age we live in. The Fall started a rolling earthquake and, since then, everything’s been unstable. That rolling earthquake keeps coming around, rattling the windows, knocking pictures off the wall, and tipping over the furniture. Over and over again, the tremors and quakes come. And we all get shaken up like a mixed drink.

Even the cool James Bond had his Skyfall.

All that shaking tends to stir things up inside of us, things we didn’t even know were there, things we really don’t like looking at, but things Someone else wants us to see.

For years the great Mover and Shaker caused my life to quake. And whenever I was shaken, the ugly sediment inside of me was stirred up. Swirling around and around in my heart were deposits of fear, insecurity, anger, suspicion, and resentment. My heart was cloudy with the stuff. It became difficult to see anything else. Things just never calmed down long enough for the sediment to settle back down.

But as I looked at the swirling crud inside of me, I gradually began to recognize what the Shaker knew all along. The layered sediment can’t remain lying at the bottom of my heart because the ugly crud makes a faulty foundation for relationship. It has to be shaken free, stirred up and skimmed off.

I discovered that God shakes our lives in order to cultivate relationship. When our lives quake, we cling to the Shaker until everything unstable falls away, and only the unshakable things remain. As we mature in a relationship of trust with the Unshakable Shaker, we experience the rolling earthquake differently.

Like a good martini, we’re shaken, not stirred.

5 thoughts on “Shaken, Not Stirred

  1. “I discovered that God shakes our lives in order to cultivate relationship.”
    Great insight, Dave.
    There were a lot of years where it was all shake, rattle and roll — and I didn’t know what God was up to. I felt like He threw me in the great Yahtzee Cup of Life and just shook me around and around and around … go ahead and throw me out already, will ya? Let’s figure out if I even end up with a lousy pair of 2s!
    Okay, I’ve mangled your martini analogy, and I apologize.
    But that sentence I copied at the beginning? About God wanting to cultivate relationship?
    I wished I’d learned that sooner, rather than thinking God was just playing with me … or spending so much time looking at the rule book.

    • “The Yahtzee Cup of Life”–I like that. Shaken martinis and tumbling dice. It all seems to fit together 🙂
      Whether it’s the cocktail shaker or the Yahtzee cup, it’s an uncomfortable and disorienting experience. The irony is, as we cooperate with God in the all the shaking. His process leads to comfort and orientation.
      Oh, and trying hard to play by the rules while, at the same time, thinking God’s just playing with us–that’s great insight into why we need shaking in the first place. It’s not about games. It’s relationship. Thanks, Beth!

  2. I had to think about this for awhile. My life has been shaken so much recently that I’ve just been wanting the ride to end.

    However…I’m beginning to think that life is like riding a horse. The only time the saddle ain’;t whackin’ yer in the bum is when the horse ain’t goin’ nowhar.

    • I had to think about your response for a while because there is something about suffering that is so weighty and solemn and mysterious and beyond my grasp that I want to be careful about what I say. I also want to recognize when, because of my own perplexity, I don’t have anything to say. The 300 words I’ve shared from my own experience represent a thimble full of understanding from God’s ocean of wisdom about redemptive suffering.
      I think it is entirely fitting that you want the ride to end. How long, O Lord? Job agonized in his suffering while experiencing an aching sense of God’s relational distance. He wanted the ride to stop. He cursed the day it started. My own experience of suffering has included periods of deep darkness. intense internal pain, and unsettling disorientation. I’ve had times when I’ve had no sense of any redeeming purpose in the whole mess.
      I have become convinced that–as it was for Job, so it is for us. The only real answer to suffering is personal encounter with God. We all cling to Him until He reveals Himself.
      We don’t know when He will come to us in Personal revelation. We don’t know why we have to wait so long.
      We do know that the Ultimate Answer is coming and we shall encounter Him in Person. We will see Him. We will be like Him. And we will never again be separated from Him. The aching and longing of our souls will be over. Our emptiness will be filled. The comfort we’ve longed for will be ours in His presence.
      I wait for that day with you, Andrew. And He is with us in the waiting.
      About what you said. The miserable horse of suffering that you are riding IS going somewhere, and he’s taking you with him. I don’t know how long and painful your ride will be, but you WILL arrive at your destination. And it’s a very good place.

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