One of my favorite authors once described James 1:2-4 like this:
“When the Bible says to consider it all joy when trials and tribulations come your way…you might as well open your front door and welcome it in – with a seat in the couch! That trial is here for a reason, so treat it like an old friend while it does its work.”
I can ignore the problem while it continues to knock on the door, but then I’m just prolonging the inevitable. It’s like one of those Chinese finger traps. The more I struggle against it – the tighter it becomes.
I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself, “This is not a surprise to the Lord.”
However, even after 16 years of my relationship with Jesus, I can still act like a brat when my plans change.
Even. Though. I. Know. Better.
On 12/22 I broke my leg. This event has prevented me from doing many, many things for my husband, my children, my Bible study group, my job and my friends and family.
I’ve been furious. I’ve cried. A lot. I have laughed and told others it could have been worse, and they compliment me on being so positive. Then, something comes up that I can’t do and the range of emotions start all over again.
I’m not sure yet if the Lord is trying to make me “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). It is a recurring message as He gently chips away at my control issues.
I know this is much more about a broken leg. I know I’ve been distracted, lukewarm and in need of a War Room reboot. My downtime so far hasn’t been spiritually fruitful, but I’m praying that beginning now, I’ll be able to use this for His glory and my growth.
Questions these days….
Do I really trust the Lord’s plans? Can I accept a path like Joseph, Hosea, David, and so many others who suffered for a greater purpose? What if God doesn’t fix it (excellent book by Laura Story)? Have I placed my life, worries, and plans at the foot of the throne, returning to the Lord what He’s given me?
The Lord was so sweet to lead me to Psalm 51:8, a chapter with many of my notes, but one verse that suddenly meant something more.
This story is a work in progress as I surrender yet more of myself and my plans to the One who spoke the starry host into existence.
James 1:2-4 The Message (MSG)
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.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) – Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Psalm 33:6 (NIV) – By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Isaiah 55:9 (NASB) – For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Luke 22:41-42 – He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
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