I make no excuses for having neglected this, my space of reflection and introspection and gratitude and acquired knowledge. In the ebb and flow of time and emotions, life happened, and I, being swept along with it, was much too distracted by the goings-on around me to heed much attention to my lowly blog.
But, being a time of new beginnings, as I have always viewed the springtime, I have been so compelled to share a few thoughts.
1. The friends that I don't deserve.
2. The sun warming up the air today, although still not at a comfortable hammock temperature.
3. Music that stirs my heart and leads me to tears.
4. Watching friends plan weddings.
5. People I love in Spain, Guatemala, and Bolivia.
6. Diet Coke.
8. Cleanliness and organization.
9. Watching children play, and the affection in their small hands.
10. The smell of coffee in the morning.
11. Old friendships rekindling.
12. Letters in the mail.
13. Big smiles.
Anyone thinking, "Uhh.. #7? Do you mean, like.. Olympic time trials?"
Let me expound.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith producing perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
Maybe we've read that a lot. I have, and yet, while I think I always said, "Yeah, James, so true. Let's still have joy even when times are hard," I'm not sure that I actually did. Or even understood it. Until now. And while I don't claim to understand completely or have anything figured out, because I don't, I do think the Spirit has enlightened me a little bit as to what that's really like.
Trials do two things for us. First of all, like James says, testing leads to perseverance leads to maturity. Hopefully, if we continue to seek the Lord in tough times, at the end of them, we'll look more like Jesus. And isn't that the goal of our lives? It's not always mine, that's certain, but it should be, and I try to make it be. Second of all, any comfort or ease or happiness that is sacrificed and laid at the feet of Jesus when we endure trials shouldn't even be considered a sacrifice, for what we are gaining - more of Jesus - is so much greater. Trials let us show the world that these earthly things are not our treasure, but Christ is.
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