James 1:2"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. "
Consider it all joy....Okay I will.
You mean when my sleep is disturbed first by my a snoring husband, and then a child finding his way between mommy and papa and then the dog low growling in the middle of the night? Okay I will.
You mean when I see cobwebs forming from around the plants and decorations behind the kitchen sink. And layers of dust that trails each little trinket I think looks cute on that windowsill? Okay I will.
You mean when I am misunderstood, and no one seems to understand me, my situation, or the condition of my heart? Okay I will.
You mean when I go to the doctor and he tells me I have a tumor in my head and it's serious enough to start treatment today? Okay I will.
You mean when I am trying to park my car in my driveway and someone has blocked my driveway with their car, and it is pouring rain outside and I got paper instead of plastic from the grocery store? Okay I will.
You mean when I inhale apple pie from laughing so hard in a pie eating contest and get really sick, sick like pneumonia and the best parts of summer have me consumed with being tired and sleepy and creeping crud in my lungs? Okay I will.
You mean when I realize that I have not cleaned my house, nor has anyone else cleaned it now for about four weeks. Okay I will.
You mean when my plans do not turn out how I had planned, and I am really frustrated I am to be joyful? Okay I will.
You mean when I step on the scale after weeks of exercise and eating so well, and the needle only moves one degree in the wrong direction? Okay I will.
You mean when my husband works later than I expected and the kids are over tired and cranky? Okay I will.
You mean when I get the news that a friend is suffering, and the best I can do is maybe listen, ask questions or bring a meal.? Okay I will.
You mean when I am sweeping the crumbs off the floor for the millionth time this year because little boys do not think about crumbs on a cherry wood floor? Okay I will.
You mean when I go to eat that last portion of tuna fish, enough for one sandwhich, but someone else got to it before me? Okay I will.
It is such short and easy word to understand, joy. There is no heaviness to it, yet it's asked of us specifically. And even more specific that those trials will be "many kinds." I just listed the kinds in my life, that are most recent and I take a short inventory of the joy I am considering.
And here is my reality. I think God produces that joy in us. I know this to be true in my own life. A joy that is real when we truly seek to live in His will. I got an email from a friend who changed her heart on a HUGE issue of hers. In changing her heart, she shared in depth the joy that came upon her. This was one of her many kinds of trials and she chose to love like Jesus loves and hearing the joy in her email had me thinking today about how God steps in, intervenes and produces that joy. Okay I will be obedient and take joy in those many kinds of trials that come along.