Next week I will be 29 years old. The life I was given has been like nothing I could have ever expected. It would not be described as “adventurous” or “glamorous” or “exciting”. Not “normal” or “typical” or “just average” either. I am living in a genetically diseased body, where pain and fatigue loom around every day. I have lost many abilities; including the ability to walk, the ability to shower myself, the ability to go to the bathroom myself, the ability to dress myself, the ability to sit myself up, and even the ability to type on a keyboard. With all the inconveniences of the everyday, I still am very much aware of the presence of God in this life -- and, most importantly, the kind of life He wants me to live.
In James 1:2-3 (NIV), it is written, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” I wouldn't say that I always have joy in the exact moment of a trial. Usually, I'm a little frustrated by their occurrences. However, I do often find myself joyfully laughing afterward. In fact, there are times that I will begin smiling or laughing without a seeming cause. And if I am asked why, I will feel like I have to make up a reason. Maybe I should just tell the Truth (John 14:6 NIV): I am full of joy because I belong to Jesus. He gives me trials to test my faith and makes me joyful, all this to develop perseverance. According to James 1:4 (NIV), “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Perseverance is hard work to develop because it's intangible. Sometimes it's difficult to comprehend that with so many physical losses, I am actually gaining -- becoming mature and complete. Moreover, I am becoming who God wants me to be.
Life on this earth is never perfect for anyone -- I don't think it supposed to be that way at all. As I approach my 29th year, I am continually reminded that the life I was given bears little resemblance to what I thought it would when I was younger. But as a Christian, the only life I should be concerned with is the one God wants me to live -- one filled with trials, joy, and perseverance. Also, in James 1:12 (NIV), it is written, “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.” The rewards are too great for me to give up or quit trying -- not to mention I would be nothing without my God.
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