Saturday, June 04, 2005

Trials: Pure Joy

Not many people know this, but I used to have a lot of trouble with homesickness. I remember in the eighth grade, I finally pushed myself to go to Beach Retreat with the Junior High up at Fellowship Church. I spent most of the summer before Beach Retreat convincing myself that I could make it one week away from home (the farthest I had ever been).

The day finally came. It was the day that we were going to leave, and all of a sudden I had a sinking feeling. It felt like all the preparation and prayer went down the drain and I began to have a panic attack. I remember thinking "I'm having a panic attack and we haven't even left yet!" I also remember the way I felt the whole week: down and depressed.

The week went by, and the closer it got to the last day there, the better I felt. I remember how happy I felt when I got home and praised God for helping me get through it. Since then, I've been all over America on different trips and I don't get homesick like I used to. God helped me grow during that week, and I became stronger because of it.

Trials are events that we all go through. During them, we feel that there is no way out, and that we will be stuck with what the trial brings for the rest of our lives. We continue to look at trials as a negative thing, but look at what James 1:2-4 says:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This verse constantly reminds me that the trials that I face will help me grow. I also love how James says "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Mildred Witte Struven once said, "A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain. " I encourage you to embrace the trials that you face, and to remind yourself daily that this hard time in your life will ultimately make your faith in God stronger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

James 1:2-4 is by far one of my favorite verses. It helped me get through some rough spots in my life. I always try to remember that everything God puts me through is to help mold me into what HE wants me to be. That was good Collin. :-P