Exhale and Consider the Joy

exhaleYou want me to call THIS pure joy? I exhale—breathe deeply and try to explain to the sympathetic voice on the line what has led me to make this phone call. I’m thousands of miles away from home and everything seems off kilter.

Another trial stares me in the face and I don’t feel ready for it. Can’t cancer be enough (granted, that trial ended in a miracle ten years ago—but I don’t feel ready to face another trial of any kind).

The words of James pop into my mind again, forcing me to check my Bible to see if I remembered it right just as soon as I finish my phone conversation.

It’s there. In black and white–heavily marked, underlined, color-coded and commented on. James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (NIV).

The Message says to think about those challenges that rush in from every side as a sheer GIFT. A gift that will help me define myself in my Savior.

I KNOW that with Jesus in the vessel, I can smile at the storm. I KNOW that I can lean back and release all of my fears and worries to my Savior. I KNOW these things.

I had conveniently forgotten that when tests and challenges come at me from all sides, I should feel JOY(click to tweet)

And so I exhale again. This time I try to exhale joyfully. I am not in control. Yes, I might face challenges of many kinds—but if I can revel in the power of a squall on the ocean, I can certainly revel in the power of my God in action as he works everything out in his time. I wait. I exhale my frustrations and worries and sheer panic. I inhale the promises, the assurance, the joy.

I’m joining Lisa-Jo Baker and other fantabulous bloggers for Five-Minute Friday. Our prompt this week? Exhale. Grand your pen and paper and start to write–you can do it!

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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