‘Janu-worry’ is typically a long month for the average South African, with the implicit pressures of shopping for Christmas and having to stretch the budget for essentially a month and a half, while spending twice as much.
Having returned from the States in mid-January, our family entered a two-week period where at overlapping times everyone was sick. When you’re sick you go to the doctor and klap your medical aid savings. Great, more money spent on consultations and meds.
Exhausted and with a giant frog in my throat one morning, I was thinking about the apostle James’ word to the Believer to consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Clearly I’m not the most spiritual sort, because I relayed to the Lord that I wasn’t focused so much on my faith pushing through a tough situation, but I just wanted it to be finished.
Paul prayed about his thorn in the flesh, that the Lord would remove it. As he wrote, the Lord didn’t remove it. The circumstances and reasons are different, and Paul is way more hard corps than me.
Without trying to sound like a tough guy, I don’t like trials, but if they have to happen, I’d much rather they happen to me than my loved ones. And when everyone needed doctors and specialists, I just wanted it to end. I don’t greet my troubles, I agonize over them. I don’t want to see them as practical, illuminating the tough kernel of faith that persists.
It’s not that I’m embarrassed or anything, its just a fact: my faith is not as strong as I would like.
Finally in the last few days, we reached what I call FLUEXIT. We gradually improved until a semblance of normality just a day before the United Kingdom experienced BREXIT.
Having reached this point now, it’s almost like my faith had the flu and I need to start it up again, back to the basics, re-entering a routine that had become disturbed…
…reading a daily verse, saying the Lord’s prayer. And it stands out to me:
“…do not lead us to hard testing…”
The commentary of David Guzik explains that temptation (or hard testing as it is translated in the CJB) “literally means a test, not always a solicitation to do evil. God has promised to keep us from any testing that is greater than what we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).”
We can pray to avoid testing, but in His sovereign way, the Father decides when we have to go through something hard.
When I don’t fully trust Him, I have to anyway. I have No One else to turn to.