Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many
kinds. James 1:2
My husband stumbled out of the bedroom, “Your phone is going off!” I rushed to grab it knowing that at 5:30 a.m. it could not be good. No ringing. No message. Then he said, “It did it two or three times; making a funny sound and the light flashing off and on.” Aha! The clock. We had thunderstorms last week and, in case the electricity went off during the night, I had set the alarm clock on my new smart phone. The phone remembered its Wednesday morning instructions, however, I did not.
He returned to bed to snooze for fifteen minutes as I figured out how to delete the alarm setting. Eggs began boiling as I pulled the toaster down to complete preparations to pack his meals for the day. Just as I dropped a couple of slices of bread into the toaster I saw it; a scorpion. He sat motionless against the edge of the stove watching his prey—me!
I grabbed a bottle of dishwashing liquid, squirted him then retrieved a table knife and paper towel. With the knife behind him so he could not back up, he lunged forward. I screamed—more from surprise than fear. By the time my husband came running into the kitchen, our morning intruder, in his paper towel casket, was being dropped into the trash.
Barely six a.m. and already time for an attitude check—good day or bad! We decided to take the good day option and both shook our heads and chuckled. As he pulled away from the house, I thought about our morning “trials of many kinds”. I laughed. I am certain James did not have clock alarms and scorpions in mind when he penned those words.
But the longer I thought about that Scripture, the more I realized that those words work for today—for traffic jams and bad news, for terrorist threats and financial crisis and yes, even for clocks and scorpions. I love that he wrote “trials of many kinds”, because it is often the combined list of small trials that cause us to explode in anger or hide in despair.
Each day we attempt to accomplish certain goals. As we face obstacles or surprises we may experience defeat (perceived or real), and because trials come in all shapes and sizes, we can laugh our way through many but must cry our way through others.
The point in all of this is not to pretend we are happy in the midst of crisis or pain but rather to understand that all of these things can produce perseverance and turn our eyes upon Jesus. Frankly, I cannot think of many things less spiritual than clocks and scorpions, but that is what my Heavenly Father used to draw my attention to Him.
What about you? What will you do with your “trials of many kinds” today? What will draw your attention to our Heavenly Father? Whatever it is, consider it joy and know that I am praying it is not clocks and scorpions.
© JP 2013