Friday, March 2, 2012

Courageous Perseverance

Before the sun came up this morning, God woke me.  My husband had already noiselessly left the house.  My babies were still contentedly sleeping for the first time in days when He woke me up, leading me to His feet.  And I sat by the open window, listening to sounds of deep breathing from my little one and opening the pages of the book of James.  And I read this:

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”

I hear the word “patience,” and I groan.  Patience… that waiting thing where I am supposed to joyfully grit my teeth and calmly wait in excruciating pain.  These last few days I have sat too long in that pit.  I turn in the pages of Mr. Wiersbe's book
… pages that my grandmother thoughtfully underlined and marked as she led countless studies through this Love Letter.  As I turn, I discover once again that my understanding has been skewed by this world.  My eyes have seen these words from my limited sight.  Patience… It is not gritting my teeth and passively waiting for God to move.  Patience is courageously persevering in the face of hard circumstances. 

These are words I can get behind.  I’m raising boys.  We’re all about valiant words, those made for adventurers.  Courage.  Perseverance.  Endurance.  Yes!  Perhaps the reason I’m so frustrated in the moments calling for patience is that I’m trying to hunker down and take the beating until it’s over rather that meeting it with courage

God guarantees that my faith will be tested, that these trials will come; but He also assures me that if I face the trial courageously I will become mature, refined, that I will have the honor of bringing glory to God.  And so I bow, asking for wisdom.  The wisdom not to waste the opportunities God will give me in this day to courageously face the trials ahead.  

The trial of aching wordlessly with those in unimaginable pain.  The trial of faithfully loving a rebellious child.  The trial of forgiving and healing with those who have hurt me deeply.  The trial of showing grace and speaking words of life when it just seems too much.  The trial of long days and even longer nights.  The trial of facing each unknown day with hands open and upturned, allowing God to will and to work.  

I needed this.  Because words like courage leave no room for self-pity or selfishness.  Perseverance can't allow covenants to be laid aside.  They demand wholehearted devotion as each trial is met.  And while I find this thought to be exhausting, I remember, "Not my strength.  Yours."  And patience then has her perfect work.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written, Krista! Thank you. I know this season has been a desert season in so many ways. Thank you for your example of courageous perseverance, and for pushing me to do the same when all of me wants to lay down and take the beating. Keep hoping and waiting. The morning is coming, my friend!