This is joy.
No one ever thinks of the hard times they go through as joyful moments of great inspiration. And yet, God says to start a tally! Start to tally up all of the trials, and the difficulties, and the hardships, and the frustrations, and the Karen people, and all of the challenges that seem to overwhelm us at any moment in time. Tally them all up! Because this is joy.
Because there is a great insight in knowing that everything you go through is designed to create something inside of you. All greatness demands the work of patients. Greatness demands that you have the patience of a reptile. Reptiles have learned that in order to eat, they must master stillness! They must master the discipline of camouflage. They cannot allow their competitors to see them. They know how to blend into an environment and just wait.
A reptile knows that patience is the fire starter of endurance. It takes patience to get you in position for the things that are coming tomorrow. it takes patience to be still and watch and see exactly what the situation is going to become if you observe it long enough. It takes patience to see who is going to show up, and what are they going to bring with them. You retain hope because Hope is the joyful anticipation of good. You don’t know what good is coming, you just know that good is written somewhere and you will be patient until it arrives.
Everything changes. If we respond and react to things at the moment without allowing patients to help us see what that moment is going to become, sometimes we create more difficulty for ourselves and we don’t develop the patient’s muscle. Sometimes we scare off our own food if we don’t master the discipline of endurance.
Because on the other side of endurance, is a transformation that is happening inside of me! Yes difficulty is the grooming place for my own internal perfection. It is the development of my character, it is the cultivation of my self-discipline, it is the training of my humility.
So take out your pencil, and start to tally up the things that you can count as joy!
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. ~ James 1:2-4
One, two, three, etc.