a tapestry of thoughts and aphorisms from my journey
Monday, October 03, 2005
The Book Of James
Man, this book really rips me up. It may be the most pragmatic book of the New Testament. I was reading the first chapter of James, and God just got to crawling all over me about life and trust. Consider it pure joy when you face trials...man, is this guy talking to me or what?!? But the "ah-ha" moment came as I discussed this passage with some other folks last night. One of my friends was trying to talk about the difference between faith and laziness. His main question was something like this: "I know we should turn things over to God, and trust Him to take care of it, but how can you know if this is laziness or faith?" God spoke to me in that moment because I've really wrestled with that very thing. James tells us that when we face these trials, we should ask God for wisdom... That's not to say you just leave it with God and hope it works out. When you find yourself in the midst of a trial, ask God for wisdom, and He will give it to you freely. With wisdom, you know what you need to do, and what to trust God with. With God's wisdom, you know where to step, where to wait, and where to leap. I've read this passage hundreds of times, but last night it really was a source of great inspiration. When we face trials, count it joy, and ask God for wisdom to walk wisely through the trial. That's the essence of life, really. And the bonus is that we will not only walk wisely and weather the storms in a Godly way, but we earn the respect of people watching because they see us walk with wisdom. Max Lucado calls these trials the "thumps" of life. He says, "When a potter makes a pot, he checks its solidity by taking it from the oven and thumping it. It it "sings," it's ready. If it "thuds," it's placed back in the oven. The character of a person is also checked by thumping." With God-given wisdom, our lives will "sing" when we're thumped. Otherwise, we react to the trials in our flesh, and the result is a resounding "thud" that declares we are not yet ready. My hope and prayer is for wisdom that will allow my life to sing with the thumps that inevitably come.