"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Monday, January 9, 2012

Consider it Pure Joy

"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."  
(James 1:2-3 NIV)

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open 
and shows its true colors." (James 1:2-3 The Message)

     I have read this verse hundreds of times. I try to keep it in mind when those "trials" come up in my life. Most often the last thing I do is consider it a joyful experience or see it as a gift. This week when I deliberately decided to put this verse into practice, I was surprised at the blessing that followed.

     My vacuum cleaner decided (prematurely) to retire. I was cleaning, anticipating orderliness, when plans suddenly changed. I knew that we did not have room in the budget for a new, dependable vacuum. I had a choice to make.  I could either worry about how to pay for a new one, or, I could give my need, my "trial", over to God and see what happens.  I decided to go for the latter option.

     My prayer went something like this: "God, I cannot wait to see how you are going to provide a vacuum for us." Simple. Hopeful. Trusting. He knew we needed one. I simply put the ball of providing it for us in his court - joyfully. Then, I waited.

     A few days later I was telling my brother-in-law about the new plastic, upright statue I have in my house. He said that a friend had just returned an extra one to him that he had borrowed for over a year. He had been wondering what to do with the extra one. Both of us felt blessed by the exchange. Coincidence? Some people might think so. I know better.  God orchestrated the timing just right and showed once again that he cares about even the smallest trials in my life.

     The following day I was able to bless a friend with an extra baby gate that I was not using anymore.  God provided for me and gave me an opportunity to do the same for someone else. I love when prayers are answered in such a tangible way, and what a joy to be the answer to someone's prayer as well.

     God does not always step in to save the day in this way.  Then again, I do not always turn to him the way I did for this need either. I wonder what would happen if I considered it pure joy more often?

     Giver of all good and perfect gifts, thank you. When trials come my way, please help me to consider them pure joy and look for the good that will come out of them. You know all of my needs before I even ask. Yet, asking you to provide reminds me who owns everything in the first place. I love seeing your creativity in situations. Continue to open my eyes to your hand at work.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. What a great answer to prayer! I love hearing how God works even the little things out.