Lately, my faith has been tested. In fact, I would say that my faith is tested on a daily basis! If it weren’t, I would question whether what I believed was even real or true. There have been circumstances with my family’s health, finances and even work situations that have discouraged and disappointed me, many times over. However, these times have provided the chance for me to refocus and regain an attitude of complete faith. Faith in God’s promises for my life and for my loved ones. The book of James 1:2-4 encourages us this way, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Whoa…… PURE JOY. Ha. Ha. HA. So, rather than bawling and crying and indulging in Coke Zero and chocolate chip cookies, I’m supposed to have joy? It really isn’t all that easy to find joy and sometimes it takes a period of emotional release for me to find any joy or purpose of the trial. However, when I’m ready, God has always been there waiting for me with that encouragement that I needed to get through the day.
Matthew 6:34 reminds us ”Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” We ARE going to have troubles and trials each day, but we CAN get through them. Another favorite verse for me to hold on to is from Luke 12:25, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Yep, I’m definitely a worry-wart. The thoughts that race through my mind and prevent sleep are ridiculous! So each day I have to remind myself that worrying will do nothing but make me miserable, and to focus on Who is in control and has the perfect plan. And it’s not me.
This week, I received an uplifting message from my second cousin, on my momma’s side, Janie Dawson. She is such a talented artist and writer and I wanted to share her poem.
It’s very hard to understand
this training ground called “Life”…
that’s often filled with blessings
and often filled with tears and strife.
It sometimes makes me question my beliefs
and where I’ve failed…
when I find I’m holding on to faith
by my spiritual fingernails.
I feel ashamed to question
what my heart is going through…
oh, how I want the strength to say,
”All things work out through You”.
Yet deep inside my heart of hearts
I just don’t feel that way…
and “WHY?” falls from my lips
each time I close my eyes to pray.
Lord, may my soul glimpse hope
to know Your own humanity
is shared by anyone who cries,
”Why have You forsaken me?”
(c) 2003 Janie Dawson