Good and Gritty


Trials–Nobody likes them.

Yet, God says,

“Consider it pure 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.”  James 1:2-4

As humans, we have an innate desire to be mature and complete. This desire manifests itself early in childhood when the growing toddler stumbles to take his first step and later when the maturing teenager begins to learn how to balance all the responsibilities of young adulthood. We, as humans, are constantly growing and changing.

Or, are we?

Why have some of us decided that the evolving process of growing and changing has ended for us?

Living things grow and change.

If we are not growing and changing, what does that say about us?

What does God’s word say about us if we are not engaging in the maturation process? It says that we are incomplete and lacking. We are like the runner who feels accomplished enough by the miles behind him that he slows down, steps out of his lane and kicks back in his recliner. Meanwhile, the race continues.

How do we allow ourselves to arrive at a place where we think we’re “good”? Where we communicate to God that His work in us is done?

Each transition we make in life as a result of the growing process requires some form of being stretched beyond our current level of comfort. It may be mildly unpleasant or it may be excruciatingly painful.

Are you there right now? Are you in that place that is so uncomfortable or painful that you just want to scream or curl up in a ball?

Change can be hard. The unknown can be scary. The unanswered can be devastating. But what does God’s Word tell us?

“Consider it pure joy…”

How can that be, especially, when joy seems like nothing more than a faint and distant memory?

It can be when we embrace the limitations of our human perspective. We must enter the place where we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are not God. This is where we have to let go and let God be God.

While our human-ness fixates on the incessant irritation of the grit, God’s divine authority positions Him to see the beautiful pearl that He is forming in us.

Don’t by-pass the maturation process. Submit to it. Then, one day you will stand and look back at the path you’ve taken, complete and lacking nothing.

Could someone in your life be encouraged by this post? If so, please share.