Monday, July 22, 2019

Count it all What?

This morning I started reading in James as I prepare another study guide. I read through the first few verses, sighed and moved on. Then a friend shared her devotional for the day and it was on the exact same verse. So, I thought maybe I should camp there awhile.

In James 1:2 we are reminded to count it all joy when we fall into different trials. It doesn't say if...it says when. I get that- you know - something's always going on. and for caregivers, it's a daily struggle to make ends meet emotionally, financially, mentally and physically. But do I have to consider it joy?

Well, if you'll read it again, it's not talking about being joyous because of the trial, it's because of the result. It's the testing of our faith that will produce endurance. I can testify that this is true. I've talked a lot about a redefined faith - one that sustains us. It's that deep-felt heart-abiding faith that won't let you give up. The same one that can honestly be frustrating when you really want to give up but just can't because of the rock of faith in your heart.

When endurance (or patience depending on your translation) is allowed to finish its work - we will be perfect. I was excited until I realized that word actually means "mature."

But this morning as I read this familiar passage, I noticed something "new" to me. In verse five, James starts with "but...." I've always heard it's not proper to start a sentence with a conjunction, but James did. I'm sure he did it for a reason. But if you lack wisdom... That's when it hit me - the conjunction, "but" is powerful right here. He basically says - count it all joy for your trials because it's working in you to grow your faith to maturity... but if you don't have the wisdom to follow that through - then ask God for it.

I certainly pray I have the wisdom to let this trial deepen my faith. One of my initial prayers was that I'd be able to find my way to stay strong in Him and follow His call in the midst of it all. I pray that for all of us today. Only a caregiver understands the heart issues we face. The dark night of the soul that caregiving can be - and the joyous intimacy with God that deepens when we pursue Him.

Today, I will meditate on how He has walked this journey with me and taken the time to develop my faith and trust even in the midst of the trial. My thoughts will be on how I can change and grow rather than avoid the painful journey. I'll be thankful that He didn't abandon me at any point and that He keeps on unfolding His word in my heart as I seek Him. I'll continue to seek Him as I trust Him for one more day.Will you join me?

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