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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Bricks: James 1


Tonight, a word of encouragement from James. 
James 1: 2-8
2Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
James 1:2-4 was my life verse a few years ago. See, WD was planning on graduating in December of 2009. He had his first teaching job lined up in the town where I lived, and our wedding was all planned for March 27, 2010. The Friday before Thanksgiving break 2009, he had his final evaluation from his advisor, and was unexpectedly told he failed. Well not exactly told, screamed at, by a grown man in front of other people. This man made such a scene that other people called security (and his supervisor was not willing to stand up for WD and risk not getting another babysitter intern.)  I had never heard my fiance cry, and I am pretty sure he had an anxiety attack over the phone. All of our plans for happily ever after began falling apart. 
We had a few weeks before the semester was over to wrestle with these major life decisions- What was WD going to do with his life, start school over? Should he change career goals? Should we keep our wedding date? Would he ever be able to get a job when schools saw failed? 
I was in a Bible study that year with a few other teachers at my school, and we were studying James. These faithful women encouraged me to put on all the spiritual armor I could- pray diligently-all day (even for these people who had hurt my fiance- which was hard), WD and I began praying over the phone every night, and memorize this verse along with a few others and repeat it often
2Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
GOD IS SO FAITHFUL! WD appealed his failure, and was granted the opportunity to repeat his internship (which has never been done before- or since), primarily because the mean man had not met his requirements of observing WD, (but everyone involved knew it was really because he was so mean, unprofessional, and unreasonable!) 
So, WD had the opportunity to learn under another supervisor who actually wanted to help him succeed. We were married in March, even though the mean man didn't want him to have the Friday before our wedding off. (WD actually had to go to a job interview on his way to the rehearsal to get the absence approved.) He received a job upon graduation in one of the best school systems in Alabama.
We grew SO much because God let us get uncomfortable, and learn how to focus our life on Him. It is SO easy to plan away our lives, schedule everything and forget to wait for God. Sometimes he forces us to wait, or lets us struggle through hard times, to remind us that life is SO much better when He is in control. So consider it joy (as best you can,) knowing you are growing and gaining endurance all along the way. I can't wait to be perfect and complete, needing nothing.....someday! 


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