As I sat in my quiet time this morning I began to ponder one of my most loved verses of scripture, James 1:2-4 (AMP):
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
The last few years of my life have definitely been one of trial, heartache, and loss. As we approach this holiday season, my reflections bring more JOY than anything else. Why? Well, the aforementioned scripture brings everything into perspective. Looking down from my seat in Heavenly places I can emphatically declare that everything that I have gone through up until this point brought out the best in me. It pulled out LOVE from the depths of fear; GRACE from memories of punishment and condemnation; and TRUST & vulnerability where mistrust once resided.
Through all of the ups and downs, ENDURANCE (some Bible versions use the word PATIENCE) was (and still is) doing a work in me to bring me from brokenness to wholeness. Yes, I cried, screamed, threw a tantrum and [insert every other emotion here]. But I’m still here! I’m stronger, wiser, and, dare I say –BETTER! It was absolutely for my good!
Give thanks and count it all JOY!