Sometimes it amazes me how people hold if together and move on after things that I don't think I could make it through. I think of people like friends of mine who had their first child - their son - spend the first year and a bit of his life in a children's hospital, on more than one occasion not being sure if he would make it. And yet, they keep going . . . and now a little over two years later have their son home, but with a life that we would call anything but "normal". But, you can still hear the joy of following God and their trust in Him when you talk to them.
Or people like another friend of mine who lost her husband in a tragic accident just 10 short months ago. She was pregnant with their second son at the time, and is now raising two young boys without their father. And yet, she keeps going. She's not afraid to admit that it's hard some days, but she keeps trusting God and following Him . . . and makes it through one day at a time.
In both of these situations, these were people who I had the incredible privilege of working with at summer camp a number of years ago and then attending Bible college with them. I had a feeling at the time that there was something about these people that was pretty cool. And I think I'm seeing what that is now. The way they have all kept going, kept trusting, kept serving, kept loving through all the tough stuff in their lives inspires me. I consider myself privileged to call them friends. Their perseverance through the tough times has encouraged me many times that with God on my side I can make it through anything, no matter how impossible it seems to my human mind.
James 1:2-4 is a verse I have heard lots, but I really like the way the New Century Version (NCV) puts it:
"My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be
full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will
give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then
you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need."
I have often wondered how exactly you consider it joy to face trouble in life, and I'm still not sure I completely understand it, but I do wonder if through these friends I have been allowed to get a bit of a better understanding of how you do. Watching them walk through their own troubles, and walking beside them as much as I can when we don't live in the same city, I really do feel that I have seen an example of people who persevere through trials in life because of the hope they have for what is to come. I pray that should I find myself in situations like the ones they have found themselves in, I too would be able to persevere and to find joy in the midst of it all. I pray that for you who read this as well.