I don’t know about you, but I am greatly troubled with all that is going on in our country. The virus and the political madness, the stresses at work, my personal finances, decisions to be made, indecision, sleepless nights, loneliness…the list goes on and on. I do feel uneasy. I feel unsure. I wonder what is expected of me. I wonder what changes will be thrown at us tomorrow. I wonder why nothing is consistent and or even makes sense. I wonder what is necessary and what truly isn’t. I wonder…
But I do know that God is consistent. He is a solid foundation even in a world of turmoil. I just need to set my worries aside for a few moments so I can read His word. Why is that so hard to do?
I did struggle this past week to sit down with my Bible. I am very easily distracted. I admit that. When I finally opened it up, I thought about which passage I should turn to. I needed something to help me. Something I could meditate on all week long. My first go to book is Philippians, but as soon as I thought of that book, James quickly popped in my head. I thought that was odd and it made me curious, so I turned to James. Where do I turn to in James? I didn’t know, so I started at the beginning.
As I began reading the first chapter of James, a peace came over me as I knew this was the perfect place for me to be. This chapter is packed with wisdom and support.
Below are some of the high points I’d like to share with you.
Verses 5 and 6 made me realize that I often run on my own wisdom rather than seeking His, and that I am like a sea, troubled and stirred up, with many doubts.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial…” verse 12a.
Have I remained steadfast? I have felt beaten and broken, and to the point where I have considered giving up. But I don’t. I come back. Is that considered steadfast? I don’t know. I have a very real human side to me. But I guess that is how He created us. Right? So maybe it’s okay to feel these things without giving up. Finding strength in Him to pull us up and out.
“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Verses 19, 20
Do I react before thinking? Yes, I still do occasionally. I was much worse in my younger years. Maybe we do mellow as we get older. Still…I need to practice patience. Feelings can be hurt, friendships damaged, and souls lost when we react in haste. You can retract the words later, but you cannot retract the damage done. A reminder to think before speaking or doing.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Verse 22
I desire to be a doer, but am I? It’s easy to hear. It’s easy to verbalize. But do I do? Today is a good day to examine oneself.
These are just a few thoughts to consider from James 1. I hope that this message will give you a little comfort and wisdom for this new week.
Below is a poem I wrote many years ago, but it expresses my feelings today. Maybe you can relate. Just know that there is strength in God and beauty all around us that lifts us from dark places.
The waves, swirling, pulling, pushing,
They sweep over me,
They sweep under me,
They trap me and hold me down.
Its darkness swallows me completely,
And I do not know which way to freedom,
Nor which way leads to the pits of hell,
The darkness is so very cold.
One decision can change the lives
of so many,
How is that fair?
How is that kind?
A yes or a no,
Yet, neither are simple,
Although the words are small.
The waves move me about,
Twisting me and turning my body,
As though a dog’s toy,
I am bruised, battered, and beaten.
Most of this, as horrible the reality,
Is surely self-inflicted,
I must control my attitude,
no matter what the circumstance.
July 24, 2011
Be grateful. ♥️
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” James 1:17a
Find peace in this day. ♥️
Photos: Maine coast , October 2019