Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
I don’t handle inconvenience well. Or, let me rephrase that…I don’t handle daily nuisances well. And, of course-God knows this. I mean, he is all-knowing. He knows my every thought. He knows my actions before I act. He already knows exactly how I will respond to every situation that is thrown my way.
Usually it is not with the finesse, grace, and mercy in which I should respond.
And, this morning was no exception. See, I had big plans for my day off. Plans that involved that one selfish luxury I take glory in each month-a much needed haircut. Well, that is until my daughter started getting sick. Until my son lay on the porch kicking and screaming because he WAS NOT going to school without his sister. And, until after five minutes of wrestling, shin shots, and slaps in the face, I finally just got fed up, picked up the five year old from the ground, cleaned up the sick little girl, and gave up on doing one thing remotely “selfish” for the day.
Sounds like I may have handled this with a little bit of grace and finesse, but nope. Not.at.all. Truth is, as soon as my daughter made mere mention of the thought of needing to get sick, my thoughts and actions went into tailspin crazy! I yelled at my oldest to just get up already. I yelled at my youngest, because for once I just wanted him to pick this day to truly be “not autistic enough,” and to ride the bus alone. I cried because I knew that once again, the day would be filled with constant running back and forth to school due to said “bus” situation. And, darn it! All I wanted was a simple hair cut!
Grace? Finesse? Mercy? No. Not this morning. Anything but those.
Then I remembered a passage from the book by Wendy Blight, Living So That, one I am currently reading through Proverbs 31 Ministries on-line bible study. Just last night I had highlighted this message:
“How we handle adversity is an accurate barometer of where we are spiritually. When our barometer gives a low reading, it may be because we do not have an accurate understanding of God, or because we do not have a strong foundation in His Word. And sometimes the way God chooses to increase our barometer reading is through trials. Trials are often the only things that will drive us to our knees.”
Well, that’s a little convicting.
Because, where was I today spiritually? I think my spiritual barometer had stopped working-completely. And not once had I sought His guidance.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3
And, he expects this faith and endurance in even the smallest and insignificant of trials. When the kids are sick. Again. When one child has kicked you in the shin. Again. When your plans are ruined. Again.
How I handle these small trials are a test and a glimpse into how I will handle the toughest of trials, which are sure to come. Will I turn to Him in the tough times if I can’t even seek Him in these trivial ones? Or, will I continuously lean on my own strength?
Goodness knows, each time I do, I most certainly fail!
Because this trivial stuff-this is just the rehearsal, honey!
So, instead of complaining about what went wrong today, I can seek His guidance in order to get through the rough patches.
Instead of sulking in a corner, crying into my coffee, I can open my Bible and soak myself in His Word. His promises.
Instead of cursing the moments that are made up of fights, chaos, and screaming, sick children…I can remember to embrace the moments like the one below. The ones God gives in the midst of “rough” days to remind us of His goodness!