"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4
Until now, I never understood the admonition to have "joy in trials". What a joke! Craziness, I thought. Yet here I am with blessings - IN DISGUISE.
For those new to the blog, in September, I twisted my foot and fell onto broken glass. I broke my foot, sprained my ankle and chipped the bone, severely lacerated my left hand, and lacerated my right hand with embedded glass on top of a recent carpal tunnel scar.
Last Saturday, January 18th, another piece of glass finally came out of my right hand. It had been bothering me for months, and painful since before Christmas.
Last week while dealing with that glass, I made a list of all the BLESSINGS that came from my recent injuries. I was blown away by that list!
Who knew we could be BLESSED by being injured?
God knew, that's who.
And a few guys in the Bible also had a clue.
(I'm a poet, and you bet, I know it! Ha!)
But I must admit, finding the joy was NECESSARY.
It was NOT me being oh-so-holy. Nothing like that. Because I'm definitely not.
It was me protecting my wellbeing and sanity.
The choice in trials: Find the joy or lose all joy.
So, to ward off depression, I looked for the GOOD and was grateful for that.
Here's my list of 21 Blessings in Disguise:
1. My husband did most of the household tasks. (Hurray for a house man!)
2. My husband prepared dinner and waited on me, hand and foot. (Literally, since I had a broken foot and two lacerated hands.)
3. My family and friends rallied around, bringing meals and care packages, and most importantly, praying for me.
4. Daily visits prevented deep depression. For ten days straight, someone brought food and/or visited me. On days 11 and 12, I wondered why I was so down. I quickly realized what a huge difference those friendly visits made!
5. Forced rest. When you can barely walk or use either of your hands, you get a lot of rest!
6. Time with God. When injured and in pain and wondering why, there's little else to do but pray, study the Bible for answers, and pray some more. (Well, I guess there's TV, but we cancelled cable and even Netflix. I did read books, though.)
7. Turned my heart and attitude toward God. In questioning WHY - our favorite question to God, as if we were three years old - I grew very close to God and truly sought to know His heart for me. And His heart is good. :)
8. Daily reminder to trust. Lingering numbness and scars on my hands provide daily reminders of what I endured - and how I need to trust God rather than go my own way.
9. Prevention from a wrong direction for my life. When the accident happened, I had an appointment for another job that I didn't (and don't!) have room for in my life. When I should have been at that workplace, I was bleeding buckets at Urgent Care.
10. Prevention from overwhelm. Sometimes I still get overwhelmed. But with an extra job on top of my other responsibilities? That kind of overwhelm just isn't doable.
11. Protection from a difficult environment. I recently learned that workplace is short-staffed and I suspect the environment is unfavorable. So glad not to be there!
12. Reminder to pray first. These injuries screamed out a lesson. Pray before making big decisions, like taking a job.
13. Reminder not to act rashly but to take time to make wise decisions. Ditto above. Taking time to pray prevents acting rashly and regretting it later.
14. Deeper trust. Since I was physically unable to do the job I'd accepted, I was forced to trust God for our finances rather than take matters into my own scarred hands.
15. Validation of my work. All that time with God during recovery proved valuable validation that the work I'm doing is exactly what God wants me to do. I am where I'm supposed to be and the accident prevented me from veering off track.
16. Protection of my work. Another job would have made my current work suffer.
17. Better stewardship. We drastically cut expenses, eliminated everything unnecessary, (yes, even Netflix!) and increased our awareness of spending habits.
18. Renewed goals. Since the job wasn't an option, I resolved to renew my goals to earn more with what I'm already doing.
19. Better time management. In light of renewed goals, better time management was also in order, along with the motivation.
20. Confirmation of provision. This is the coolest one. During the time when I could not physically work, my current position continued paying me. I could talk on the phone, email using one finger (slowly!), and even hold a board meeting with some help. Not only was my salary continued, but the free meals from friends eased our budget, and unexpected funds dropped in from sources we didn't expect. Not one bill was ever late. God provided for us.
21. BONUS: My husband has continued helping with more household tasks than ever before. My hands don't work as well as they used to, so he bought me an automatic can opener! And I really think his extra housework made him appreciate me more. You just can't beat that!
God is good! Life is good! These scars prove that God is on my side, and I'll take them any day over the outlook I had before -- trying to figure it all out on my own in fear and worry, all the while thinking I was trusting God.
When we go through trials, we learn what trusting God is really all about.
"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."
1 Peter 1:6-7
Have you found blessings in a trial?
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Blessings to you!
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