I guess You knew, back at the beginning of December when I started to read through the New Testament, that I would finish Revelation on March 10th, and need something else to do. And I guess You knew, when I went into the bookstore in search of a study or devotional, exactly what I needed. And so You prompted someone to sell their old unused James Bible study, and You prompted me to pick it up and bring it home with me, and on Sunday morning, so early I could hardly open my eyes, there it was, waiting.
How many times have I read James, that first chapter, since Mr. Carrier assigned it to us to memorize in the ninth grade? Still when I read those familiar words I hear his voice and the old cadence of the KJV– “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.”
I think perhaps I have been guilty of skimming those well-known verses, but the study says to read them, in more than one version, and I dutifully do, and I write down my responses to the questions, and we do Sunday morning on a preaching day, with all the crazy of three kids and leaving the house by 7:15.
I guess You knew how much I needed that reminder– the testing of your faith produces patience . . . and let patience have its perfect work, that you might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Oh, how much I lack. How much You offer to give to me, and how little I take of it. Somehow after all these years I still think my own way is better.
It’s a Sunday, and I don’t know what hangs in the balance but it feels like so much during this waiting time, and words hurt and my heart rushes to my throat and I want to stand up and explainhow it is, but You say count it all joy. Oh yes You do.
Count it all joy, and know that this trial in your heart is producing patience. And that patience and perseverance, they are what lead to completion, to maturity, to that sense of peace that says, even when everything makes you want to scream your face off, that you lack nothing.
Spring comes early this year, for a week in March, maybe for good but probably not, and we make rainbows and read fairy tales and pull up chairs around the table and practice neat penmanship and rescue the scissors from Squeezy again and in all of the routine and the mundane we wait.
I guess You knew, didn’t You Lord, that this waiting would be a testing time for me. And I guess You say to me, just as You said to Joshua, be strong and of good courage. All these years of preparation and here we are waiting to cross Jordan and You say to me, just trust Me and do it My way and in My time, and it’ll be all right.
All these years we have waited and prepared and seen Your hand in the waiting and preparation and provision and the Manna in the desert, and this I know– You have been in it all faithful.
I guess You knew I would need the reminder, didn’t You Lord?
You are so good to me.