My friend Bethany just called this evening.. her husband was in a car accident not far from their home. He thinks he blacked out. He is diabetic, so it's quite possible. They are still at the ER waiting to see a doctor. Bottom line is that this family has faced a Job kind of time together. Loss of a lot of things. But thankfully all of their lives are in tact tonight because the circumstances could have been worse. I try to remember this verse during these kinds of times, but I find it hard to live it out.
James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Sounds so simple, but how does one go about practically living out this verse? Somehow, Bethany does. She rarely complains. This is a person who has endured much. And the "stuff" seems to keep coming down the chute, and I don't mean good stuff.
I have another friend who is enduring much... and just beginning a journey of physically enduring more. She is a wife, mother to 4 beautiful children, friend to many, and she is getting ready to fight a battle with cancer. She will be undergoing a mastectomy within a week or so at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I am scared. I don't know how to consider any of that pure joy. And yet, each time she updates her journal on Caringbridge... I thing the one who's most courageous is her. She makes me feel stronger and I'm not the one with cancer.
I long for that kind of assurance. I know it's mine to have, but I have to believe it. Beth Moore often uses the phrase, "I do believe, help my unbelief." It's actually a portion of scripture in Mark 9:24 when Jarius's daughter has died, but Jesus heals her. I am so glad someone took note of someone being in the touch, see, and feel presence of Jesus who still says, "I do believe you, but help me to REALLY believe you." Cuz that is how I feel so often.
So day by day, minute by minute... I have to try to remember that I'm only meant to strive to be like Christ. I will never have it all together, but He loves me thru my stumbling, and questioning. And as long as I love Him and seek Him, He will hold me up and get me thru...sometimes kicking and throwing a big ol tantrum, sometimes giving up the grip I have on something and going on my own. I'll get there. And I can only hope that as I journey there, I can learn to trust and look out for Jesus instead of always looking out for myself.