Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
My grandson tends to over-estimate his abilities. I remember when he was younger - maybe 7 or 8 - he went to a summer camp that had daily swimming lessons.
Rather cockily, he told the instructor that he didn't need lessons because he could swim. Several minutes later the life guard was fishing a shivering, frightened little boy out of the deep end of the pool. His comment when queried as to what had happened?
"Well, I thought I could swim!"
Asked if he had ever tried swimming the deep end of a pool, he should his head and said,
"No. But I thought I could do it. It looked easy."
We don't know how strong we are until we are tested. And conversely ... we don't know our weaknesses.
It's easy to go through life thinking we know and trust God when we've never encountered situations that force us to need Him.
Now, I'm not saying that all chronic illness is simply a testing of our faith. But it sure does the trick.
It shows us our strengths.
It also shows us our weaknesses. For me, the lessons have been replete with showing me my weaknesses - and my need for God.
I get grouchy and impatient. I grumble. To be honest, I wouldn't want to be around me on the bad days!
I don't know if I would be aware of the problems I have with grumbling, patience, and anger if I had not been faced with my illnesses.
I am grateful that they force me to look to God.
He's the one who pulls this shivering, frightened child out of the deep in of the pool every time.
Father God, Thank You for Your faithfulness in our times of challenges. Grant us each endurance and perseverance until the day that You declare us complete and lacking in nothing. Amen and amen.
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