Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)
Kids are great! I have often thought the best part about having children is that they will teach you more about God and about yourself than you could ever learn otherwise. For example, just this morning our six-year-old daughter wanted to play with some plastic beads that she saw her older ten-year-old brother playing with. When he informed her that he really wanted to play by himself at the moment, she became upset and complained to mom. When mom informed her that her brother really just wants to play by himself right now, she had a complete meltdown. She became very upset and began crying profusely. In response, mommy tried to explain to her that “it’s not a big deal. They are just beads and she can always play with them later.” None of which was very comforting to our daughter. As I sat and witnessed, with utter amazement and bewilderment, the complete emotional breakdown of a six-year-old over plastic beads, I began to wonder how often God looks at us the same way. How often do we have complete meltdowns and emotional perturbation over life not going our way or not getting what we want, and God looks at us thinking, “Really? It’s not that big of a deal.” But to our little minds and from our finite perspective, “the world is crashing down around us! This is the most horrible experience ever!” This is not to trivialize traumatic experiences we do go through in life—the loss of a child, diagnosed with a terminal disease. Those are horrible, life-changing, experiences. But more often than not, we fret and moan and have complete meltdowns over beads. What helps us get through these “traumatic” events is to remember that when we go through these difficult times in life, these disappoints or apparent setbacks, we know that God is producing steadfastness in us and, thus, we should count it all joy.
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