Monday, April 21, 2008

Joy and Pain---Revised

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." James 1:2-8

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It turns out, that Pastor Jeff preached the exact sermon that I needed to hear. He started a series on James this past Sunday morning. All about Joy and Pain. The verse above is what we studied. I read it over and over again and it makes more sense to me each time. One thing the death of my mother has taught me, is that even in the midst of great pain, God is working in and through me. He wants the crud to go away, and passing through life difficulties is how that happens. He wants to do something in YOU, while you are in THIS.

I wept after church on Sunday. I walked outside after hearing this fantastic sermon, and I cried through my sunglasses. The sun was shining brightly, the daffodils greeted us as we walked out of church. It was a beautiful day, and the Lord had just spoken to me in a way that I had never felt before. It was powerful. I realized finally, that the greatest mess in my life, is also the greatest gift in my life. For through this pain, I have seen Him work great things in me. It makes me want to be at my best when things are at their very worst. It makes me see that this pain is not willed on me by God, but rather it is there to fix me, and heal me, and strengthen me. To make me a better person. To make me who I am today.

So, today, I have chosen to not let my pain go wasted. Because, instead I choose joy.

3 comments:

apt said...

I love when the universe gives you the very thing you need.

Amanda said...

I couldn't get to sleep the other night, and I ended up watching church on tv, and there was a similiar message.

That is a great passage, and I am glad it has made you think and understand :)

Elizabeth said...

Mom would be so proud of you, Em. That was beautiful. I feel the same way.

xoxo,

BC