At our church we are studying James. We are learning many things about this small book found almost at the end of the Bible. It talks about how trials WILL come and just how we are to face them. As I sat in the service listening I agreed with all the Pastor was saying. I even understood the part about where we are to count it all joy when we suffer. Yes, joy. The Bible goes on to explain that statement, because I am sure the listeners James was speaking to reacted just as I did. You have got to be kidding me! (Not sure what the Hebrew version sounded like but I bet it was close.)
James explained it like this. When you suffer trials, that leads to perseverance, perseverance leads to mature faith. We all want mature faith, right? It is just like going to the gym. (now that is a trial in itself). We know that if we continue at the gym, we will have a stronger body, maybe even a better shape than when we started.
Well, I agreed with the words that I heard and read. It made perfect sense. That is until we tried to get home from church that day.
It had been raining and the power even went out in church for a few minutes. As we drove through town we saw just how much it had rained. The roads were flooded, the small creek beside the road was way over its banks. We drove slowly through it. That trial was a piece of cake. (I can feel perseverance growing by the minute!)
We took the road we always take to get home. We passed a long horn steer just walking down the road. Not a normal site, but again we persevered. I was feeling like nothing was going to stop me.
We went up over a small hill and the little creek that was normally just a trickle was now flooding the highway. We were stopped by a fireman and told we couldn’t go any further on the highway as it was waist deep up ahead. We were given a few options. So we took one of them and as we turned toward home the same creek was even more flooded on this road. It was the same with each option we were given. Frustration and a little fear set in. What happened to that perseverance that was there just a few minutes ago, the faith that God was in control and would make a way for us. It was speeding down the creek with the rush of water.
I may have not passed that test. However, it did lead me to start thinking about how to handle the next trial that would come my way. It came very quickly in the form of family stress. I was so aware of failing last time that this time I quickly gave it all over to Jesus. It was a joy to know that He was right there waiting for me to hand it all to him.
I just heard this song and it so applies to trials that we all go through. Like the one woman said, she had that shell that looked good outside but inside all was not good.
None of us is a blank sheet of paper, we all have trials we are going through. It is how we handle them that makes the difference. Like it says in James, “count it all joy.” I will leave you with this song.