Every December I spend time seeking God for what my focus should be for the coming year. One year it was trust, another believe, then my focus shifted from a single word to several scripture verses. Proverbs 3:5-6 were the verses for 2017 and believe me there were times I needed to lean into those words or I would have been crushed by circumstances.
This past December I once again spent time in prayer and these were the verses I was given:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 ESV
This definitely has been a year of continually saying…..I am counting it all joy……as many things have come my way, and continue to come my way and also to my husband.
Continual oral pain that has radiated to my jaw, ear and eye.
Complete knee replacement surgery to replace the partial knee replacement I had 10 months prior.
Very painful and slow healing of my knee
Bill’s several cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Bronchitis for me and Pneumonia for Bill
A virus for Bill and I this past week
The medicine for the jaw pain (Trigeminal Neuralgia)that is $7/month this year, will be $100/month next year
to name a few….
Lots to deal with and now, yesterday, in a freak accident, I fell twisting my back, landing on my new knee, both hips, the other knee, somehow cutting my left foot UNDER my shoe and jamming my right hand. Seriously some days I want to say enough is enough.
and then I remember….
I count it all joy, my brothers, when I meet trials of various kinds. I do so because it’s during these trials that I draw ever closer to my Jesus.
I have made the mistake of saying the enemy is attacking us but the truth is we live in a fallen world. In this fallen world we will face many trials. My peace comes from Jesus.
It is what we do in those trials that makes the difference. Do we say “why me?” or do we keep our eyes on Jesus and walk through those trials knowing we are not alone. I would love to say that I do the latter all the time but, sadly, I fall short. I allow temporary pain to keep me from eternal gain. I’m pretty sure that is why James 1:2-4 are my verses this year. I am improving. I stop, take a deep breath and acknowledge that there is purpose in this journey.
God may reveal the purpose to me here or in eternity but one thing I know for sure God will be glorified in this journey if….I count it all joy as I meet these trials.
Do I enjoy these trials every minute of every day? No, to enjoy is a temporary feeling, to live with joy is a daily choice and today, despite the pain, I CHOOSE joy
Heavenly Father, Help us to keep our eyes on you and not our circumstances. Grant us peace and joy knowing you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, you know the plans you have for us and they are for our good. You are our good, good God. Forgive us, Lord, when we shift our eyes from eternity to the temporary. In Jesus name, Amen