Thursday, January 1, 2009

Consider It All Joy

I distinctly remember thinking, as 2007 ended, "Thank goodness this year is over!" My mother-in-law had spent the first half of the year fighting breast cancer. Kelly's health had started deteriorating over the year with his sleep apnea, sinus issues (which needed surgery), and digestive problems. I spent the last half of the year sick with all-day "morning" sickness. My grandfather passed away at the end of October after a long and draining illness. A couple of families at church were going through severe problems. So I remember being glad to say goodbye to 2007.

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.

James 1:2-4 (NASB)

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!


Jeanie said...

Wonderful post Tami!
I am feeling anxious about home schooling as we will have to "pull our kids out". I know God has his hand on everything like you said and understand about having many trials. This year we have had to and still are fighting insurrance for my son's medical care, and had to put ourselves in debt just to get him the care. We may or may not move this coming June and I am scared with the housing market the way it is. You are right though, that God uses it all to shape and mold us. Thanks for helping to put things in perspective : )
PS. When does HOPE meet? I am not on the loop yet.

Tami said...

I'll send you an invite to the loop!

Kim said...

Thanks Tami! We're working through some trials with our church right now so I needed to be reminded of this! I don't know what the outcome will be, but I do know that we will be stronger in the end.

Candace said...

Ahhh.....two of my favorite verses, and ones I recite all too often!

God is so good to provide comfort and assurance through His Word. Great post! Hope Kelly gets to feeling better SOON! ;-)

Tami said...

Ironically, Candace, I'm the one sick right now! Kelly and Brynna had a cold on Christmas, and shared with me. This is one nasty cold too! I can't seem to kick it, although I think it's because of my asthma. Anyway, it's has been a change for me to be laying around the last few days feeling like I've been run over while Kelly's been up and doing stuff, feeling pretty good! :-)