"Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have it's perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-3
There are several parts of this verse that thrill my heart! I would LOVE to be lacking in nothing. To genuinely have no lack in my person or character or body or heart.
And to be complete....like the Lord had finished His work and said He was done. I love to complete little projects or a goal or a plan. Crossing things off a list delights my silly heart. I'd like the Lord to be able to cross me off His "to-do" list because I was complete. Sigh.....I suspect it won't be happening this side of glory!
And to be perfect - not perfect as in perfectionism. I've long given that up due to its lie. But perfect in it's definition: "Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be."
I'd like to cross myself off my to-do list.
Fat chance. It takes more than plans and goals and effort and focus to become perfect, complete, lacking in nothing.
According to this verse, very good "muscle builders" are our various trials. The testing of our faith. The endurance that results when we let it have it's perfect result. The attitude choice when the trials show up or hit us.
My whiney self moaned to myself more than once, and to the Lord, "I don't want any more trials and faith testing and endurance building. Aren't you done yet? Aren't I good enough?"
My Dr. asked me today if any spiritual insights have come to me this past year during this illness. Good question. (He's obviously not a typical doc!) So I reflected on the de-priding work (my word!) the Spirit has done, showing me my self sufficiency, arrogance in assuming I know what we're in Bend for, making plans without consulting the heart of my Savior. I'm so grateful for the revision of my life pace to allow much space for rest, reflection, conversations, time to notice and time to be... The humbling that has come with inability to be and act as the me I'm used to being is useful. (But like a hot iron, I use it when I absolutely have to, and no more often. It's not my favorite tool.)
I saw that the months of anger and irritation and frustration, in spite of not being able to alter the house building process a bit last year, was a type of war against myself, not a lot unlike this auto-immune disease where my body is attacking it's own joints. Insights. There they are. I have no answers. The doctors have no answers as of yet either.
Tomorrow, Dr. Greg will give me my 3rd Simponi injection. My Rheumatologist and we suspect this drug isn't working very well for me. I'm grateful for any lift it throws my way, but it's not showing itself consistent or relieving my pain & disability for very long. Thus, I am aiming for the mindset of joy that my trials provide opportunity for, as I know in my mind and heart that this testing of my faith (learning to trust Him more and more) is producing endurance. I choose this moment, again, to rest in this process of endurance building, that God may complete His work in me of completion, perfection, and filling my great lack with Himself.
May I be pliable Lord!