“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2
Lately, life has been off the charts with reasons to stress. We’ve had manufacturers ship faulty products, fender benders on new vehicles, errors in accounting and then at home, a recent broken arm on the football field and uninvited parenting hardships. It seems to all be coming at the same time with no presage of slowing down. I’ve seen stressful moments in this life before, but not at this price point. It all sobers quickly when you realize the brittleness of the season and how close the “everything for sale” sign really is.
In my fifty years on this earth, there has been elation at the top and misery at the bottom, both of which offering an education unparalleled by anything the Ivy League can dish out. The valley of today seems a little deeper and this sandbox has definitely been more expensive to play in. I have learned in life that being still does not necessarily involve a locked room with no distractions. It does not necessarily involve a cup of coffee and a journal. More than not me being still in the middle of absolute chaos is the reality.
Understanding this, as land mines detonate around me, is paramount. Putting on your chin strap and allowing God to do His work communicates a stillness and a calmness that are truly out of this galaxy. I do long for the moments of celebration, the warm and fuzzies, and the glory be to God on high. Those are sweet recollections of evidence that this too shall pass, but the times of right now are where the rubber meets the road. It is in these times of tribulation and doubt that long obedience in the same direction penetrates the blanket of persecution and hell that seem to rudely awake my surroundings.
I praise God over and over again for His faithfulness. He does not wait for me to run to him. He does not wait for me to ask him to remove the leprosy. He does not wait for my questions of why and why not. He pursues me from a long way off, meeting me on my path, accepting me as I am, bloody and marred by my own insatiable appetite. I turn around and he’s there and I hit my knees, and he is there and before a word can leave my lips, he answers. He alone is Lord of lords and King of kings. He alone is perfect and good and worth every ounce of reasoning the hymnals echo from the mountain top and every bead of sweat the buckling down communicates in the valley.
Like Peter and Andrew’s understanding of Jesus’ sustenance and its ability to out satisfy anything Ruth Chris can serve up, I too understand that His faithfulness will supersede all other formidable actions, leaving baskets of leftovers for years to come and an end that will work for the good of those that love Him. And whether this refinement comes through the hands of a doctor, a judge or a mortgage company, yields little relevance. The healing has always been miraculous, the timing spot on, and I know in the morning I will be complete and lack nothing.