I know I led off with a Bible verse yesterday, but permit me another one today? It’s kind of a stunner.
When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers (and sisters), don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends. ~James 1:2 (Phillips translation)
Excuse me? I’m supposed to welcome trials with an open-door policy, like I’d welcome a friend? Very funny. Next verse, please.
My husband and I are in the middle of some pretty life-altering decisions concerning adoption, the future, and all that jazz. While I wouldn’t exactly call these decisions ‘trials’ (more like HUGE opportunities), they definitely have been making my mind, and life in general, feel rather crowded lately. Yeah, this spaghetti brain of mine has felt extremely crowded today, so much so that I’m considering kicking any and all random thoughts to the curb as intruders.
And yet James is saying I’m supposed to welcome the difficulties with open arms and open doors. Well, goody for you, James, you were obviously holier than I am, buddy.
Seriously, though. What is it that James is getting at here? Maybe, it’s that in welcoming the hard stuff, I can somehow find a way deeper into the heart of God – the God who is my Comforter, my Strength, my Friend? That in welcoming difficult decisions and situations as I would a friend, I’m actually inviting THE Friend who sticks closer than a brother to walk with me through them.
Let’s be honest: Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just kick all the trials and temptations crowding our life out like we would kick an intruder out of our house? If all the difficult decisions could just be made for us? And yet, I don’t think Jesus’ ultimate goal for my life is for it to be an easy one. If I’m really honest, an easy life would probably be pretty boring. I think He’s up to more than that.
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” ~John 16:33 (the Message)
He wants me to trust Him. Really, truly, unshakably trust Him.
I once heard a friend say she thought that maybe, what God really wants to hear us say, even more than “I love You,” is “I trust You.”
Maybe embracing the difficult decisions and circumstances crowding my life today with thankfulness and hope, instead of resentment, is my way of saying, “God, I trust You.”
After all, if He’s already conquered the world, He must know what He’s doing, right?