Thursday, December 28, 2006

Oh how opposite!

This morning, oh this very early morning, the Lord has led me to the book of James. I'm not exactly sure why, but I've prayed about where He wants me to go in my quiet times this week and for some reason I keep coming back to James! So away I go!

I love to look at different translations of the bible because many times they can say things in a different way that speaks RIGHT at me. The internet is a great tool that can help with that! So, here's what happened this morning. I'll begin in chapter one of James verses 1-4:

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations. Greetings: Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Ok, I had to stop right there. Those four verses already have my mind flowing with thoughts! First, who was James exactly?... I found out that James was Jesus half-brother. Can you imagine being a sibling of Christ??? Oh the rivalry! =) "No I'm gonna save the world....No I am..." (just kidding!) Siblings have a special bond, they know things about each other that no one else does! Both good and bad! They experience each other's lives first-hand. What an amazing outlook on Christianity James must have had! I think about how my first-born, Taylor, how she leads our pack tremendously. Hope pretty much will believe anything that Taylor tells her and repeats most of what Taylor tells her to her friends. Taylor even at this young age, thankfully because of her teachers, has an incredible knowledge of scripture that she is able to pass along to her sisters. Most days Taylor comes home from school and begins to play with Hope and I can pretty much see what all she learned at school that day because she "teaches" HopeAnn everything! So, if you can imagine for a moment the knowledge that Christ must have passed along to his siblings specifically, James! I doubt they as boys sat around and played "school" but, oh how through many of life's experiences Christ was able to teach his brothers about Christianity! That had that "first-hand" experiences that could only come from being a sibling of Christ!

So next I'm led to verse 2, that says, "Consider it pure joy whenever we face many trials....." Ok, I don't know about you, but I do NOT consider it joy whenever I am having a difficult time! When I think of the word joy, I think of happiness, peace, love, goodness and just plain ol good times! I do not think of stress, worry or sadness as a time of PURE JOY. So, I have to stop and look closely at what the Lord is trying to say to me through this verse! I am completely opposite of that verse. I have the PERFECT example: Yesterday we got Taylor's tuition bill for school, along with next year's registration fee. Well, after having a very tight Christmas, I was not excited to see this bill. In fact, the first thing I did was get upset. How on earth were we going to come up with Kennedy's $250 co-pay for tubes and Taylor's registration fee, all at the same time??? I was starting to STRESS out, just like I always do when unexpected financial things come up. We live on a very tight budget so that I can stay at home, we're good unless a few curveballs get thrown our way, and that's why I was like, Oh we go again! But oh I'm so convicted this morning that if maybe, just maybe if I would have just stopped right there and said, "Lord, I know I can't see how this is going to work out, but I know that your hands are upon it and you're going to take care of us." Maybe I would have experienced that "pure joy" instead of "pure stress", if I knew that my faith was being tested through this time, I should have "therefore" just considered it "joy", knowing that in the end I was going to be a stronger, more "mature" Christian (as the verse says). End of that, right???? =)Yes, God gave me a good ol kick in the behind, as soon as Kris got home and told me he had a side-job coming up!!! Ugh...One of these day's I'm going to get it right!!! God's ALWAYS got it all worked out, if I would just HANG ON and let Him be God!!!!

Well, there is so much more to share, but I could go on and on this morning! I'll write more about it tomorrow, I can't wait to see what else God has to say!!! I hope you have a very "joyful" day!!!!

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