Count it all Joy…..Really?

James 1:1-4 “My brethren (and sister :)), count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be compete, and lacking nothing.”

I am going to tell you right now that I will not ever tell you to pray for patience. Nope, I learned early on that if those words come out of my mouth, I will surely be tested. And, if any of you are like me, the last thing you want to hear when you are under the bus and it is backing up to make sure no part of you was left unscathed is to count it all joy. I am having a hard time finding any joy in my experiences right now. Please allow me to whine a little bit. I promise I will get to the point soon.

I have Mono. There is nothing the doctors can give me to make it better and they do not have an estimated time that it will take to run its course. For months I have been drained, exhausted, and in a lot of pain. I chalked it up to everything my family has been though the past few months and just the normal everyday things that sometimes “catch up” to you. That is not the case and the only remedy that the doctors can give me is rest. Can someone please tell me how a single mom with two soccer boys, a busy career and church obligations can rest? Not a word that has been in my vocabulary nor one that no matter what I try to cut out seems to appear.

When I got divorced two years ago I was left with a great deal of debt. I did not file bankruptcy because it was debt that I helped to create and I did not feel that it was honoring to God for me to take the easy road out. There was one debt that Dan was supposed to take care of that other than signing for the line of credit, I had nothing to do with. Of course, he did not. This has resulted in a lawsuit of around $45,000. I talked to a couple of attorneys and both said that there was nothing I could do to keep from being sued because I signed the initial paperwork saying I would be held responsible. Their advice, file bankruptcy. Again, this is not an option for me. Even though this debt is not “mine”, by filing bankruptcy I will undo all of the good that I have accomplished the last couple of years and be back at square one. My solution, I called the company and talked to them about a settlement. They agreed to take a much lower settlement, let me make monthly payments to them, and to release me from the lawsuit. Thank you Jesus! We will definitely be cutting back, and eating out will more than likely be a thing of the past for now. Put the fact that Dan does not pay child support that he is supposed to and it almost pushes me over the edge. It never ends with him, but I will spare you all of that garbage.

I got home today and there was no hot water. The hot water heater was leaking again under the house and of course they can’t fix it until tomorrow. Very thankful that I have cold water, and that I do not have to pay for this repair because I am a renter.

And, the list could go on, but who wants to hear all of that negativity?! I don’t even want to hear it myself. That’s why I went back to James 1 today (thank you Beth Moore for pounding that in my head and Joy for sharing that study with me).

Trials are not fun. Trials are not easy. We (I) wonder why everything seems to happen at once, and why sometimes it seems I cannot get a break. But this I know for sure, God has a plan. These situations that I am in are not news to Him. While I can’t see any area of deliberate sin that may be causing these things in my life, I do believe there is a lesson. Something for me to learn about handling difficulties, perhaps being an example to someone, or something deep inside of me that might need to be called out so that God can move me into the deeper places with Him. To prepare me for what His calling is. These things are producing patience (even though I didn’t ask for it) that will make me complete and lacking nothing. Everything that I have and am is in Christ (Acts 17:28). I don’t know that I have mastered the command of counting it all joy, but I do hope that (after I get through whining here) I can walk through these things and come out with a stronger faith. A deeper belief in the God who is my Redeemer who lives (Job 19:25), my Provider (Philippians 4:19), and above all my Savior who has overcome the world and any trouble it might throw at me (John 16:33)

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