Friday, November 05, 2010

... AND LOVE REMAINS

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  NLT James 1:11


Over the course of my life, I've spent a lot of time studying James 1: 1-8.  It's the go-to scripture when trials come into your life.  I actually have most of that scripture memorized.  Here's the "Dana Ellis Modern-Day-Paraphrased-Version":

 When life does what life does, and gets tough; be happy about it.  When we face trials, our faith is tested.  And when our faith is tested, we develop perseverance and perseverance is the thing that develops character.  So hang in there, and let perseverance develop.  One day, you will look back on those trials and know that you are fully developed and not lacking in anything because you survived them.  

If you lack wisdom, if you don't know what to do about these trials...Ask God.   But, ask without doubting.  Keep hold of your emotions and keep your head on straight and know that God is going to handle this.  When you're unsure, you are like a wave tossed about the sea and blown around like the wind.  Reacting to trials in that way causes a person to be wishy-washy and terribly unstable...and that never helps anything.

It might not be eloquent, but that's how it translates in my mind.  And though I can't say that I've grown to the point that I am happy about facing trials, I have begun to endure them with the knowledge that there is a purpose for them.   But, when I was reading Karen Kingsbury's "Above the Line" series (which I highly recommend) and James 1:11 was mentioned, I realized that I had been stopping short at verse 8.  As it turns out, verse 11 actually validates why we should consider it pure joy.

Since losing my cousin Tony in May and my friend Susan in September,  the past few months have really been for me a time of evaluating the things that I make priorities in my life.  James 1:11 solidified those thoughts for me:

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  NLT James 1:11

So often, life gets in the way and I find myself wasting a lot of my time, resources, energy, etc. on things that aren't permanent.  I have really started trying to ask myself: "Am I investing in something eternal here?  When it's all wrapped up and said and done is what I'm worrying about here going to matter?"  And I'm learning that a lot of time, the answer is "no",  I am learning that often, I, my family, my friends and the world will be better off if I turn my attention,f my time and my heart in another direction.  

God, please help me to make your concerns my concerns.  And please give me peace about those things on which I unnecessarily waste my time, effort and heart.

Blessings,

Dana


5 comments:

Adam said...

Thanks for this. I needed to read this today. I love you.
AE

Mary Beth said...

I love it....well said!!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

wonderful verses, amen!
It's always good to evaluate the things in our lives indeed & set priorities.Well I need this!

BASSakward Tales said...

love this post...i am faceing trials in my health right now as you know and i will be studying james....love ya

Tina said...

I haven't been on blogs or blogging lately. Thanks for your thoughts on this particular entry. Hugs to those precious girls....and even one for Adam too!

~Tina