I'll try to keep it more His words than mine tonight because mine are wayyyyy too hyped up on High Fructose Corn syrup and Carmel color (plus some phosphoric acid....seriously?!?!?!?)
So, I am doing a refresher course in James in my quiet time. Why? Because I love it...and it was written by Christ's own brother. Just learned that....always thought it was the apostle James. Anyway:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
James 1:2-12 NIV
So this is the part that keeps hitting me between the eyes. Here I've been all woe is me, look at my sacrifices as a military wife, I've had such a difficult lot as of late, etc. etc. etc. But, perhaps my seeming misfortune makes me a lot more blessed than the girl with the perfect family, a husband with a perfect work schedule, and a world where everything goes right. It's a whole heck of a lot harder to get this Christian thing in that life. It's a whole heck of a lot harder to understand Christ's suffering in that life. It's a whole heck of a lot harder to understand the need and urgency of having a savior. I know because that used to be my life.
Now, if I just described you, don't think I am knocking you or your faith in any way, shape or form. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! All I am saying is that perhaps a life riddled with trials and difficulties is more of a blessing than a curse, which totally goes against our human eye view. I mean I've felt like for over a year now, I've been standing in the middle of a rough, choppy surf and every time I stand up, I get knocked down again by a wave. But, for the first time, I've figured out that it is pure joy. Pure joy that with each wave, I keep persevering and getting back up. Pure joy that eventually this season of trials will pass and I will be so mature and so complete, that the next waves will only make me step back a little, rather than to fall over. Then, after that, the next waves will just pass me and I will remain firmly rooted.
In one years time, I have gone through a suicide attempt of a loved one, my parent's messy divorce, moving, buying a house, two deployments, getting a new job, a couple of health scares with myself and my child, and a partridge in a pear tree....Consider it pure joy.
Honestly, looking back I keep saying there is no way I can consider it pure joy, but I do. I do because I finally get a lot of things I never got before. There is a lot more joy to be considered, but I am getting there.
Here's to pure joy...
Until next time,