In the past when I would sit and spend some quiet time with the Lord I would read an entire chapter but only absorb about two paragraphs. I didn't really feel like I was getting to the heart of allot of the issues or hearing what God really was trying to teach me. As bad as it sounds I think often I was just trying to get something, anything in when I could hide long enough from my kids.
A couple weeks ago I decided to slow down and break it down. I started getting up in the morning and sitting outside on the patio and just enjoyed the fact that I was there; healthy, breathing, looking out at the amazing view. I opened up to the book of James and decided I would only read what I thought my brain and heart could really take in for the morning. Needless to say I only got as far as verse 4. Not because my head was going to explode or that I was loosing interest but it was quite the opposite. The few words in that short section just made a light go on in my heart.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, Th the twelve tribes in Dispersion:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:1-4
I have read this so many times in my life but this time I saw the word LET. Let steadfastness have its full effect. Steadfastness means unchanging, loyal, determined.
Most often when I go through trials, especially something that causes significant heartache or even physical pain I go into something of an overdrive or self preservation mode. But this verse says to let it have its effect. It's there for a reason. Don't fight what I (the Lord) am trying to create in you. Basically DO NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW IN HIM!!!!
I didn't even bother to go beyond this verse for a couple days. I let it sink in and I tried to apply it to everyday things that seemed like trials. Every time something "to big" for me came up I could hear this verse in my heart.
Nobody wants to suffer but ahh, your already there in the midst of it. God knows exactly what he wants you to look like after going through that rough season in your marriage, that illness that you haven't been healed from, that child who has fallen away, that friendship that has been damaged, that lost job. He knows, we just have to "let" him do what he does best and that is mold us and love us into his image. So good.