Have you ever felt like the walls were closing in on you, like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, and like you can’t catch a break? *Raises hand.* I have felt that way lately, and I would bet my last few dollars that I am not alone. I am currently living in one of the toughest, most trying, character building seasons of my life. I see my life as a class with a teacher [God] that gives tests for the student [me] to take and hopefully pass. Here’s the catch, it seems before I can complete, turn in, and pass one test, another worksheet is being passed out. (Can I get a witness?) This can sometimes be very overwhelming…
Today I looked at my phone and this scripture displayed as the word of the day from my Bible app:
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 [New Living Translation]
I can’t get into the specifics of the many things that have been unraveling at the seams in my life, but just know after the last few days and weeks that I had, that scripture stopped me in my tracks. Little did I know, while praying for the answers to one test, God was only hours away from handing me another. Real talk, I was so frustrated that I could have screamed. I erupted into laughter to mask the tears that wanted to cascade down my cheeks. It felt as if I was trapped in a cycle of bad news and doomed to fail. Then I re-read my word for the day…
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
Hard situations come into your life to make you stronger. Just like when I was in grade school, with every grade that I passed, the work got a little harder. Fifth grade was a tad more difficult than the 1st grade and college has proven to be more challenging than high school. What’s the point? Harder tests are an indication that you have graduated to a new level! True, nobody wants to go through tough things and deal with back-breaking situations….at least I don’t. But I have found a silver lining for this cloud…a few years ago I would not have been strong enough to handle the things that are on my plate currently. My muscles have grown!!! And according to the scripture, that was the purpose of the hard trials: to test me and make me grow. I have not quite mastered the art of considering my troubles as an opportunity for joy, but I am embracing that this is intended to make my faith grow and build my endurance.
I know things are tough…trust me, I know. Hold on, don’t give up, don’t quit, don’t stop learning. “…When your endurance is fully grown you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” You can not pass a class by quitting it, and the only way to excel to the next level is to complete and pass the current one. I’m not sure if I did a good job of conveying this, but this trial is here build you not kill you. (You hear that, Chris??) You can survive this and pass this test. And yes…THIS IS ONLY A TEST!