Way too many Sunday mornings at home this past few months. I knew there would be another flare-up in my lower back; I just didn’t think it would come this soon. So here I am, taking pain meds again and waiting for my next steroid injection this coming Thursday. The doctor thinks it’s the sacroiliac joint on my right side. At some point I’ll have a matched set of incisions.
So. I’ve been thinking about this passage:
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Here it is in my own words: “Be joyful when different trials come. Know that testing helps you develop patience, and that patience, when it is mature, will help you to become mature and complete in your faith, and content in what you have. ”
Let me emphasize again that this is only my own interpretation of the verses. You may disagree with the way I paraphrased it, and that’s okay. I’m only sharing my own ideas on the passage.
I remember, when I was very young, thinking that when I was a grown-up, I would have all the answers to life’s problems and dilemmas. Now that I’m all grown up, going to be 70 in July, I am very much aware that I certainly don’t know all the answers. I will not know all the answers until I go to heaven, and I suspect that once I get there I won’t be terribly concerned with things I thought were so important here on earth.
I find these verses quite comforting. They remind me that God never, ever promised us that believers would have problem-free lives. He did promise that He will walk through the valley of the shadow of death with us; that He will never leave us or forsake us (Psalm 23:4; Hebrews 13:5).
The God Who created my back is still in control. He will give me the grace to endure, and to endure with joy instead of the “poor me” attitude I’ve been dealing with this week. It is so much easier to descend into whining and complaining than it is to be joyful in spite of circumstances.
It is in reacting with joy, however, that we can mature in our faith.