As 2008 was coming to a close, I started thinking about how this year in many ways wasn't any better. In spite of sinus surgery in early January, Kelly has continued to struggle just to feel "normal." While a new baby brings much joy, she also brings adjustment as well as some physical problems in recovering. Several members of our immediate family lost jobs this last year. As a contractor, Kelly's job is always something of a question mark every time the contract comes up for renewal, as it will be in a few weeks. It seems as if every family in our church has faced crises in the last 12 months. And we have the typical discipline issues with the kids, occasion financial issues, etc.
A few days ago, I found myself asking God, "Why?" Why can't Kelly sleep and not suffer from constant sinus/allergy infections? Why does all this have to happen to the people we care about, especially in such a short period of time? Why does life have to feel like a Whack-a-Mole game? I was having quite the pity party.
Then last night, during family devotion time, Kelly read a Bible verse that I have read many times before. But last night it hit me in the solar plexus, because I needed to hear it badly.
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
As you can probably figure out, I was definitely not considering any of this with joy. And yet it is exactly these types of things that happen in life that mold us, shape us, "perfect" us as believers. And just to make sure I got the point, Kelly also quoted this one:
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.Don't you gals just hate it when God speaks through your husbands? ;-)
OK, I get it, Lord. I do believe that our very breath is in Your hands. As are each of the things that have so stressed and perplexed me in the last year. And this year, I ask You to help me LIVE that belief and to teach it to my children. Help me to learn the lessons You are teaching me in all of this.
May this joy be found in each of you this year as well. Happy New Year!