Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. –James 1:2-4
Have you ever thought the idea of having a “Disaster Plan” came along as a result of someone reviewing your life story? Have there been times after reading a few of your friends daily (sometimes hourly) Tweets, or Facebook posts and think, “Man, it sucks to be you”?
Most everyone, at least, the people I know, has stared down the barrel of hardship a time or two. It can be debilitating, even for Christians, and seem so unfair. Is God then absent? Turned his head? Taken the day off? No, he is busy at work doing something amazing. He is forming in us the life of his son.
If not already, at some point in time, we all discover the highways and byways of life to be filled with roadblocks, detour, and dead end signs; issues and dilemmas that prevent and delay our expected progress. Like being at bat in a baseball game, you never know what may be coming across the plate getting out of bed each morning: Fastballs, curveballs, breaking balls, changeups, sliders, splitters and slurves (whatever slurves are); the only thing certain is the ball will soon leave the pitcher’s hand and you must respond; to swing, or not to swing is the question, and knowing what the right answer to be is never as clear as you would like, especially when the ball coming at you is traveling at around 200 feet per second.
The elements of life are often hard and harsh, like a maze they can be difficult to navigate, completely unpredictable and so many times the deck seems stacked against you – I know it does. It’s often like you’re a shard of iron in a Blacksmith shop. No one just hops up on the anvil and says, “hit me”, though – do they? I don’t think so. The blacksmith’s hammer hurts when it strikes, and we don’t like pain; we would much rather take a rain check, and prefer to avoid the anvil altogether. Yet using my own words, I find James 1:2-4 telling me this:
“Hang in there, brother, smile when the Blacksmith places you on the anvil. Know that with each painful blow of the hammer you are being shaped and fashioned into someone far greater than the person you are; a man or woman who by faith to endure will at the end of the day come out on top – the winner, strong and courageous, looking just like Jesus; fully prepared and ready to fulfill his good plans for your life.”
In my limited vision, I cannot always see or understand the why behind a sovereign God’s choices but I must accept and submit to his sovereignty – he’s the King; I am a subject living under his rule. I need only to understand that the King has at heart what’s best for the kingdom, not just me. Easy? No; sometimes I just have to close my eyes and yield the right-of-way to Jesus, there learning the lyrics of Romans 8:18 and join in with the apostle Paul’s choir to sing; “I consider that our [my] present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us [me].”
Have a blessed day all.
Thanks, Randy Wade, for keeping a light shining on my path. The journey is so much easier when someone leaves a light on.