Monday, December 8, 2014


James 1:2-4
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Both today and yesterday were high-pain days.  I came toward the end of my work day (made it through!) and found myself analyzing my serenity.  I realized that I was content, and started to delve for the reason in order to repeat the feat.  Here is what I discovered.

I woke in the morning with the same pain I had gone to bed with, and I couldn’t reapply lavender oil to relax the hurting areas, or I wouldn’t be able to work.  (The second application doesn’t usually work as well anyway.)  Instead of thinking about the pain, though, I thought about my husband’s desire to not rush in the mornings.  I wanted to serve him and help keep his morning smooth.  So I roused myself and made my way to the bathroom to begin my day.

Later on, we pulled into my in-laws’ driveway (where we make our breakfast) and I found myself thanking the Lord for its steep incline, because it made getting out of the car less painful.  On our carpool to my work, I told my husband it should be “Take Your Wife to Work Day,” because I wanted to spend more time with him.  Yet I was content to go to work - if a little unsure as to whether or not I could last the whole day.  While at work, I also found myself thankful that the postwoman delivered my mail direct to my door (due to the Lord’s timing of a large package), which saved me the pain of rising from my chair to head to the mailbox.

Why was I content?  I truly desired not to hurt, and to spend more time with my husband.  These desires certainly weren’t being met.  However, the Truth that stuck with me was that God’s plan for me today was for it to be a high-pain day, and for me to go to work.  I couldn’t avoid the one (especially with no meds due to the pregnancy), and it was my responsibility to at least give the other (work) a shot.  So if the Lord was willing to allow it in my life, then I could rest in His promise that it would be for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29).  God would use this circumstance toward His purpose to make me more like Christ.

Not only this, but I could rest in the promise that His grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9).  Not only was the Lord using the circumstance to make me more like Him (for my good and His glory), but He would give me the grace and His power to actually be more like Him.  This is how He builds our endurance, as mentioned in James 1:2-4.  I also realized that I had work to do, and took that work one step at a time, remembering Colossians 3:23-24:  “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

So why was I content?  In the face of these Truths, I was able to surrender my desires to God’s will.  I didn’t bury them, but neither did I dwell on them.  I surrendered them to His perfect will.  Yes, I would rather not hurt, and yes, I would rather spend more time with my husband, but God’s plan for me was different today, and I am content to rest in His superior knowledge of what is best for me.  My focus wasn’t so much on myself, my pain, and my desires, but on serving others, on what God was doing in my life, and His power to see His will done.

My contentment resulted from my surrender.  In that humble place, it was far easier to focus on Christ and His work - to be aware and thankful for what He was doing, instead of bitter at what I was not receiving, or that things were “not going my way.”  I thank God for surrender - both for its existence, and for His power to be able to do so.  May I take advantage of this gift of grace more often.

Have you fully surrendered your desires to God’s will?  Is there a particular desire you have trouble letting go of?  Is there something - maybe even something good - that you’re willing to sacrifice your obedience to God in order to get?  Look up the passages I mentioned, and write down something God has provided you in the midst of your circumstance despite a desire.  Look for what the Lord might be teaching you through these Scriptures. 

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