Updated: Apr 4, 2020
There are so many new phrases coming out of our current state. Two of the most prevalent are "social distancing" and "nonessential" businesses or employees. In some way or another these phrases have affected all of us.
"Social distancing" has closed churches and schools, cancelled family gatherings like weddings and birthdays, and disrupted my weekly Walmart run.
However, "nonessential" is causing a bit more of a problem. People are losing jobs because of layoffs at "nonessential" businesses, surgeries are getting postponed for those things that are not "essential", and many of us are wondering who decides whether the work I do is "essential" or not.
This is causing people like my mom who has a "nonessential" shoulder surgery to wait. The pain and inability to enjoy time with her grandkids can be taken care of in one simple surgery. She knows because the same thing happened to her other shoulder a few years back and now all is well. Surgery was promised at the beginning of April, but now put off indefinitely.
Some of you are going through this same thing. Dates on the calendar, anticipation building, and now told you must wait with no date on the calendar, just somewhere when "this is all over". Irritability sets in and impatience takes over.
We wonder how God could allow this. Does He care? Why doesn't He fix this now?
Well, He does care. And He can fix it. However, He may choose to allow this to go on longer. Does it mean you are "nonessential" to Him? By all means, NO!
James 1:2-4 states:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (steadfastness). But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."
We have looked at joy and peace, and now according to this verse that same peace that comes from faith in Christ can lead to patience (endurance) in the face of various trials. And we should be joyful about this! Look at what endurance leads to- maturity and completion. In other words the building of our faith.
When things go according to the schedule, when my calendar doesn't have to adapt, when I can look in the mirror instead of up to God there is no growth. But when the "various trials" arrive (and they will, even in 6 months) "consider it joy", ask God for patience and endurance, and then watch for God to do His "complete work" through endurance to bring you to maturity.
Now if I could just speed up my coffee maker. ;)