2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
OK, I admit it. I love and hate these verses. I look back over my 50 years and I get it, I really do. But that is not to say that I like it or think that if I were God for a day I would do it the same way. At least I don’t think I would, but I honestly don’t spend too much time pondering that.
I remember reading about an experiment that had to do with growing trees in an environment without wind and they grew tall and beautiful. But after the slightest puff of wind they fell down to the ground. Reminds me of the plant with the shallow roots that Jesus told us about that dies off quickly in times of drought. It is no surprise, then, I am most inspired by people that overcome great challenges and obstacles, not by those that seem to have everything handed to them on a silver platter. (Notice I say “seem to”, because I believe everyone has their trials, some are just more visible.)
These words bring me grief as well as hope. But if I meditate upon them it is hope that stands out the most. No matter what happens in this world my hope is secure. And not only will the trials I face be a vapor in the wind one day, but here on earth they build strength and perseverance. God doesn’t waste a single experience. Thank you, Lord, for that.