Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lessons Learned and Learning

Jo Anne (and I'm sure I've spelled her name wrong), one of the nurses at WVCI and someone I've come to consider a friend, reminded me of something yesterday that I'd forgotten. Maybe the word "forgotten" isn't right. She reminded me of something I'd lost sight of...

See, I constantly read the book of James in that old thing we call the Bible. I do it because the book calls on us to find joy amidst our troubles. But, in relating a story to me - not trying to give me advice, she reminded me that the scripture (James 1:2-4) there doesn't say, "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, if tests and challenges come at you from all sides," it says, "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides."

Sometimes we, and by we I also and mostly mean me, start thinking that life should be easier. But that's not the point. Troubles are important. Pain is important. If we didn't know pain, we wouldn't know joy. Troubles, or pains, are an opportunity. They give us a chance to realize what we have and where we are. That's why James calls on us to look at them as joy. It's important for us to use those times to grow and change. You know, you wouldn't have diamonds without coal and tremendous pressure... and other analogies that are completely over-used.

Kristin and I are struggling right now. Money is more than tight. Physical pain is a pretty constant thing. But there's a purpose in all this. And there are so many lessons to be learned. We're actually learning a lot of them.

So many people have been so good to us. I've had to learn a lot more humility and humbleness. I've had to swallow a lot of pride. I'm thankful for those lessons. I'm thankful that, while I was already madly in love with this woman God put in my life, I now appreciate her and our relationship on a level I would never have dreamed of. Our time together will definitely be shorter than we thought but it's going to be so much more precious than we could have imagined.

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4 The Message translation)

I do need to ask a favor. We're really struggling financially right now. God keeps providing enough to get us by... sometimes for out of no where. But I feel like I'm supposed to ask. Like this another lesson for me. So I'm asking:

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