“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
I strongly believe that where your focus lies, your life will be led. Even through our trials and tribulations we can choose joy. Every morning when we wake up we have the ability, to some extent, to direct how our day can go. Not necessarily by the events, but rather by our actions and response to the events that come our way.
For twenty years, as I cared for my two terminally ill children, my own life was in a sense stripped away from me. My time was needed for someone other than myself. These circumstances could have caused me to become bitter if I focused on what I was “missing out” on.
Rather, these events opened my eyes to a portion of what Jesus was expressing when He said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Life wasn’t about me, it was about what I could do to serve God. In that moment the best way to serve Him was to help one of His children. I am grateful that God softened my heart causing me to choose not to suffer, but rather find joy in the trial before me.
Every day I faced uncertainty. The trials that my sons endured made it hard to know what we would encounter. We had days that the pain was so severe that we prayed through our tears to seek comfort. Exhausted from the tireless routine, we found no rest as our circumstances looped over and over on replay, testing my patience. Yet, the whisper of God’s love fell upon my ears and into my heart. He gave me the strength to persevere and I grew stronger in my weakness.
Only God can walk you through the trials of life. Only God can help you to have joy within your sorrow. He cultivated my heart and a garden of hope flourished as He poured His love upon us. God was a loyal Gardener and as He shined His light upon us, the weeds of worry shriveled and gave way to the blossoms of His peace.