Trials give joy her best introduction

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“Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials…” (James 1:2)

 

Try as I might, the baby in my dream would not stop crying. 

 

As I groggily gathered my thoughts, I realized that this was no dream. It was 1986 and this was my life.

 

I rolled over to glance at the time. Two o’clock and it wasn’t yet time for her to eat. 

 

“Dear God, please make her go back to sleep”. 

 

The crying intensified as Mark rustled beside me. I’d have to quiet her soon as he had a long day tomorrow.

 

I was about to have a long night.

 

Could I consider even this with “all joy”?

 

I’m not one of those women who function nicely with only twenty winks. Sleep deprivation mixed with postpartum did not make me a joyful mama.

 

I’ve discovered that “doing everything right” -( i.e. trying to control everything and everyone around) – doesn’t stop the trials. 

 

Both the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built his house on the sand faced the storm. 

 

And even in today’s verse, James uses a word for “encounter” meaning “to fall so as to be encompassed”. That same word was used by Jesus describing what happened to the man cared for by the Good Samaritan.

 

But it’s all about how I face the whipping wind.

 

“Considering it joy” is not a feeling. The Greek word itself describes a belief in comparing the facts, not in consoling the emotions. 

 

This takes careful and deliberate judgement. Rationally considering the truth and allowing His final reality to weigh in heavily. 

 

In fact, this Greek word for “considering” also means to have authority over. We can choose joy because He has ultimate authority over every situation. 

 

Had I known this in 1986, the situation above might have looked something more like this:

 

I rolled over to glance at the time. Two o’clock and it wasn’t yet time for her to eat.

 

Dear God. There is something about joy that I am supposed to remember, but I can’t think what.” (Come on – I’m being realistic….)

 

The crying intensified as Mark rustled beside me. I’d have to quiet her soon as he had a long day tomorrow.

 

I was about to have a long night.

 

Before I picked her up, I put on my headphones and began the (praise music, scripture readings, audio book….) that I had prepared before I went to bed. 

 

As we walked and rocked, I fixed my mind to find items of joy in the darkness. When she fell asleep, we were both at peace.

 

Compare the facts. You have much to enjoy. Begin now to think on those things.

 

Wanna share a few of them with me?