During the aftermath of a major storm in Houston, the Lord really spoke to me from James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” These trials are all a part of my sanctification process. They come my way not to show God my level of faith but to show me how much I trust Him. He was so faithful to me but I still whined and complained to Him because things did not happen the way I wanted them to happen. Talk about being immature. Talk about not persevering. God, through the difficulties of life following the storm, showed me that I was lacking something and I needed to be willing to persevere to gain those things and be complete.
How about you? How does your “structure” hold during the storms of life? The storms will always show our weaknesses – whether that is in our families, homes or churches. Those little cracks that we thought were fixed are just painted over and as the tension mounts the paint crackles and the weakness is exposed.
But the good news is that if we are willing to do the work, the once weak spot can be repaired even stronger than before. The question is are we willing to do the work? We can keep the blue tarps on our roofs for a long time and just go up and add more nails or more tarp during each storm. Or we can be willing to have the entire roof exposed for a short season so that a deep repair can be made and the leaks will stop.
Many of our residents come covered in blue tarps with a desire to be healed but just like you and just like me – they must do the work. We can lead, guide and direct – even plead – but they are the ones who have to make it happen. Sometimes the residents will do just that and it is wonderful to see. Other times residents choose painful and unwise paths. When this happens we have to let them go and not enable them in that process. Knowing where that fine line is takes much discernment, wisdom and prayer.
May we continue to be faithful when trials come our way so that when trials come to others we can be there with the wisdom necessary to walk alongside them and teach them to count it all joy!