I am sitting here this morning trying to explain to my dog that we can not go out and play in the rain. He continues to stare and bark at me in a low tone like that will work. I just ignore him, and try to muster up the courage to go to work today. You know, live life, walk in love, be nice all with a smile on my face. I had the worst nightmare once again that always leaves me feeling gross than I ever have before. I was prepared for it this time, though. I know what comes with it. I know the feelings that I can not trust that rage inside me. I know the compulsive thoughts, and the lie that I am damaged will come up. I know how I will want to take twelve showers today, and be on high alert every where I go.
I also know healing does not come all at once, and God just hands over piece after piece until one day I will be whole. That is what I press on for, because well I have things to do, places to go, people to love, and a gospel to share. I never really did understand why James would tell me to count it all joy when the trials come. I mean I know I know he says because it produces perseverance, a unwavering faith in the Lord. I added that part it seems to be true for me. The more the hard the more I either can choose to trust and have faith or to run all over again. But can I just say to you joy is not the first thought that floods my mind when I wake up afraid and my brain filled with stupid memories that I wish would just all float away to wherever they need to go? But.. yeah, there is a but today.. I can choose it.
I can choose joy.
James says, “Consider it pure joy..” Pure. Yes, I looked up the word in the strongs and here is what I read: all, whole, every kind of. It says in the new living translation, “Consider it an opportunity for great joy..”, and the message version tells me the trials are a gift. No, I do not have anywhere to go with all of this information I have acquired for the day. I just find it encouraging especially the next two verses. Here read it, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” When I choose joy instead of despair there is a chance to grow. Developed here means also accomplished which reminds me of when Paul in Philippians 1:6 was confident in knowing that God who began a good work would finish it. He will finish it. I know I am throwing all of these words at you, but THIS is what I want to say in my time here writing.
The word endurance or perseverance is also one that means patient waiting for. No no no, I am not going to pray for patience last time I did that I had to stand in a hour long line for some bananas. God really does have jokes up His sleeve I am telling you! I will also tell you when God promised healing, when He promised wholeness, He never did say it would be easy. There would be no waiting. There would be no tears. No ma’am/sir He just says He will never leave, He will give me rest, He will fight for me, He will cover me with His wings.. do I need to go on? Because that is the truth I am leaving you with today. It is the truth I am covering myself with as well. I know there is a fight ahead. I have been here plenty of times, but the difference in this today is the army behind me. The ones praying, sending verses, and loving me through. Yep, I sure did step aside and not fight it alone this time, and you better believe I have my armor on. Do you? I know I am not the only one that has a battle today. The world I live in is proof enough of that. I have to go get ready for work now and pretend my dog is still not staring at me. I just want to leave though this place with more truth for you and me. You never walk alone. You will never have to walk alone. The One who is in you is greater than one who is in the world. You are loved big. So, get your helmet on, and face the day with me. Please. I should say please.
When I get to Heaven, I will probably need to apologize to James for all the eye rolls that occurred this morning. Oh, and thank him also for making me consider things on this rainy Tuesday morning. I guess I could be his friend, too.