Today I helped set up the set for FX, an event at our church. FX stands for “Family Experience.” Anyways, We (my three brothers and I) left home, in the middle of school. We’re home schooled, so we can do that (with our parents permission, of course), and went to the church. On the way there, we stopped by McDonald’s to eat. We didn’t eat there, we picked up some food and went on our way, I ate most of my food in the car, and then ate the rest of my food at the church.
We (my three brothers, me, and a couple of the people who worked at the church) started working. What did we have to do? We had to carry pieces of the set from a garage, into the church, and onto the stage. We had to walk outside to do this. Now, that might not sound like that big of a deal, and it wouldn’t be, except that it was cold, raining, and it was windy (which makes it hard to carry the pieces of the set). Oh, and part of the way through it, it started sleeting.
Once we had all the pieces of the set on the stage, it was time to assemble the set. About that time, I got a nasty heartburn (shouldn’t had eaten those fries so fast). It makes it kind of hard to work when your chest feels like it’s on fire. I wished I could puke my heartburn out and get it over with, but, as far as my scientific knowledge goes, that’s impossible. I tried really hard to be thankful for the heartburn. I mean, it could have been a lot worse, and if I know this as bad, I must have something else in my life that’s better. So I tried. And you know what? It worked. No, God didn’t magically make my heartburn disappear, but when I counted it as a blessing, and not a burden, it didn’t bother me nearly as much.
We (including me) should think like that more often.
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 word so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:2-17 NIV84)
How can you steal someone’s joy when they count tribulations a blessing from God? The simple answer is: you can’t. God provides unending joy for those who thank Him even while suffering. He blesses the man who perseveres. He gives every good and perfect gift. So be thankful. Even for heartburn.
P.S. You should read the rest of James, it’s a good book. In fact, you should read the rest of the bible, it’s a good (that’s an understatement) book.
P.P.S. I did finish school after I got back home.