As I mentioned in my “Water” post I live on a farm. It has been a huge experience and I love it. Living on a farm has its own special set of circumstances though. Like when your dogs come across a skunk just before bedtime.
What was only going to be a five minute “potty break” ended up being a 45 minute ordeal–washing my dogs, washing my clothes, lighting candles, spraying Lysol–whatever I could do to get rid of the overpowering smell.
It took 3 days for the smell to dissipate from the cellar where I had given the dogs a bath. I am grateful that I was able to catch it quickly–like the minute they walked in the door. But at the same time the clean up for it was involved.
It started me thinking about trials and James. In James 1:2 he writes, “Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Now most people think, “How could I consider it joy??”
I agree, but I also remember the other part of verse 2 and then verse 3; “for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be made mature and complete not lacking anything.”
My dogs didn’t go in search of that skunk, at least I hope they didn’t. Instead they “faced trials” which in the Greek means “to fall into.” It’s the same word that was used when Jesus was telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. The man on the journey didn’t go looking for the robbers, he “fell into” a band of robbers. Sometimes we walk into the trial, sometimes we fall into it.
My dogs had to persevere the bath, the washing of their bedding, the scolding I gave them out of frustration, although I am certain they didn’t really understand what I was saying.
I have faced my own trials, my own “falling into” situations. But when I keep in mind James 1:3 and then James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, for when he has stood under the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.” I am able to remember that there is a bigger picture involved.
If faith grows under trial and my desire is to grow my faith, then I will experience “trials of many kinds.” My prayer is that I will be found “mature and complete not lacking anything” when the day comes to “receive the crown of life.”
Oh Father, may I be faithful.