Here I sit, alone in a quiet house. (I know, how did THAT happen???) My youngest is at a birthday party and my oldest is at youth group. I’ve done everything I can do for work today to prepare an assisted living for the coming hurricane. Yeah, sure, why not a hurricane? Just another layer in the pile of losses and challenges this year has brought our way.
Some moments, I feel like Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, climbing up to the lookout of the boat and shouting to the storm, or to God, “Bring it on!!” I could probably do with a good scream out in the middle of a whipping wind and driving rain. (If any of ya’ll hear me tomorrow night during the hurricane, just keep on about your business.) For real, this year has been no joke for any of us. For me, just like everyone, it’s been one wild challenge after the next.
Sitting here in the quiet, this passage of scripture becomes very real to me. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:1-3
Trials of many kinds… I’m pretty sure those verses were written with the year 2020 in mind. No matter how I dread the fact, these words just hold true. The testing develops perseverance. I used to have a “weak stomach.” I once fainted during a simple blood test. Then I became a mom. After giving birth, a small needle stick no longer seemed so daunting. Once I faced and survived major pain, the smaller, annoying pains just didn’t phase me like they once had. Except teeth. I still can’t deal with teeth. Thank God my kids are past that stage! But I digress…
Ya’ll, let’s not lose heart. We are developing perseverance. We can look forward to maturity and completeness, and the peace of the knowledge that even when we seem to lack everything, we are actually not lacking anything. We can have joy, even when the world is in chaos and life is a mess. This isn’t Pollyanna talking. It’s just a girl with a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes, but a stubborn belief that these words are real and these promises are true. If not now, when? If I don’t develop more maturity this way, then how? I’m giving myself plenty of grace, plenty of rest, icing down the emotional “muscles” that are getting overworked during these perseverance sessions, and reminding myself that growth isn’t comfortable but it’s worth it. This problem will make me better at surviving the next problem without losing my sparkle. Not. Lacking. Anything.by