the testing of your faith

(stream of consciousness follows.)

i have been hurting for two days. not for me, necessarily. but for others. 

it seems there are a lot of trials in the lives of the people around me. one family friend has a 2 year-old child in the hospital, barely hanging on to life after a near-drowning. i can't imagine what the parents are going through. and the selfish man in me shutters at the thought of facing the possibility of losing one of my own children. in the midst of their pain and confusion, they are looking to God for meaning and hope.

a student in our ministry has a father in a medically-induced coma and wondering if he will make it. i still have both of my parents. yet, this 19 year old girl is looking at losing her father. and yet, she is calling on her Heavenly Father for healing and peace.

another acquaintance is facing issues. i don't know what they are…but it has caused this person to question their faith. is God even real? is He even there?

these are real struggles of real people. my current struggles are not struggles at all when i sense what is going on in the lives of people around me. last night, the water line to the ice maker in my freezer broke. it leaked all over my kitchen floor and i had to stay up for an hour to get it shut off and cleaned up. and now i have to replace it. 

that's not a real struggle.

i submitted my first query letters to literary agents today for my first book. i have been wondering for months if this is even an avenue worth pursuing. i wonder if i will get any responses? or just get laughed at?

that's not a real struggle. (sure, i am seeking God's will, and learning to pray…and be patient. but that's different, you know?)

i need a larger vehicle for my growing family. i wonder what to buy and how to finance it. again, not a struggle.

i am reminded of these words:

"count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (perseverance). and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 

james 1:2-4 (esv)

count it joy when we meet trials. because we will meet them, like an unwelcome stranger on the sidewalk. and although he is scary and we don't really want him around, we are to count it as a joyous opportunity to be challenged and stretched in our faith. and if we will hang on, our perseverance will pay off.

what struggles are you facing? what trials? how can we pray for one another?
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