For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17
Alone in my car, driving to the emergency room, I screamed at God: This is too much!! I meant it with every fiber of my being. Even now, eight years later, I feel the hurt and panic of those moments.
I had recently moved my precious parents into a care facility to give my mother help in meeting my father’s physical needs. It was a hard move for us all. I had just begun to clean out their house, parceling out treasures to relatives. The subsequent estate sale broke my already injured heart. Watching my parents adjust to new surroundings and life events drained my energy and made me so sad. But this...a call that my mother had fallen and broken her wrist...was shattering for me.
As I think back to those days, I ponder the words of James 1:2-3: Consider it true joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. The daily care of my aging parents lasted many years and included a multitude of trials. Each difficulty was another proving, another testing of my faith.
These many distresses burned much frivolity and self and waste from my heart, growing in me compassion, steadfastness, and a profound understanding of how much I need God! In all honestly, I did not choose joy through most of those trials, but now, in retrospect, I am so thankful that God took those hardships and used them to form more of his character in me. The enduring, the desperation, drove me to Jesus.
Lord, may I choose joy when I face trials, knowing that you are growing Christ-likeness in me.