Stunned, Jasmine realized that her husband had stopped yelling. His face still very near hers, she now felt moisture on her cheek. As she continued to stare into his eyes, his saliva began to drip from her chin.
As his anger boiled, he continued to spit into her face.
Months earlier, Jasmine began to notice changes within her husband. Sparked by their son’s critical accident, the demeanor of her godly husband had changed.
This drenching would be only one of a series of abuses. Jasmine endured many in the months to follow, before escaping the heightened physical violence through divorce.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial…” (James 1:12).
Today, as a single woman, the Father is using her to minister to other women in abusive situations. I am proud to call her my friend.
You know, there are two types of perseverance:
The deserved and the undeserved.
My life usually results in the first. I speak too hastily or act with impatience, and find that I later must bear the consequence of my actions. It’s grueling and embarrassing, but in the back of my mind, I know that I behaved myself into the hardship.
Jasmine’s adversity well depicts the second type of trial. Though unmerited, the Father still allowed her to walk through this valley of shadows.
In some ways, I’ve been there before, too – but thankfully, through other situations.
Undeserved crisis brings far too many emotions.
Shock – that the Father would allow the pain.
Hurt – that He let me down when I trusted.
Betrayal – when He permitted the gossip against me.
Anger – that I didn’t deserve the pain.
Yet, when we feel we have heard His promise and trusted in His deliverance, it’s all the more devastating to feel that even He has let us down.
I admit that in one such trial, I stepped up to the very edge of forsaking my faith. I even verbalized my intent, but then realized I couldn’t follow through somehow.
I couldn’t stop faithing, even during the times that I perceived Him as faithless.
It is in these times that I know the thorn of faith, once implanted into my heart, cannot be removed, even by my willingness.
Instead, in the silence, I’ve discovered that true Life is most obvious when everything else within you is dead.
I’m glad that Truth is bigger than my feelings about Him. Although within, He is also without – keeping the faith cord firmly implanted in my soul, even when I am ready to let it go.
James reminds us that the trial is inevitable, not just a probable.
So whether it is justified or not, each ordeal deals us a bit more humility.
In fact, humiliation is God’s well traveled path towards true humility.
And sometimes, He will even use our children or those we love most to bring that humility to pass.
How are you persevering? How can I pray for you?