|James 1:2-3 – “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
People have a hard time accurately assessing what things mean.
On a good day, we think we did well.
On a bad day, we can find many villains to blame.
It is even harder when we try to figure out what God is doing.
For instance, when life tumbles in and trials come, what is God trying to do? Is he angry? Punitive?
Perhaps a fairy tale helps us see the truth.
A wicked witch lived in a remote cabin deep in the forest. Few came to her door. Those who did found a strange reception.
She offered them a bed. People would settle in and snuggle up because it was the most comfortable bed anyone had slept it.
But if they slept in the bed all night, they would turn to stone and become one in her collection of statues.
One day, a young man came to the door. A servant girl answered the door. She could not bear to see him turned to stone.
So, she made the bed unbearable. She loaded it with pointed sticks, rocks, and thistles.
With every toss or turn he found himself poked by another uncomfortable object. He could not sleep and rose before dawn.
As he left, the servant girl met him. He complained bitterly to her.
“How could you give a traveler such a terrible bed full of sticks and stones?”
As he turned to leave, the servant girl whispered in his ear: “the misery you know now is nothing like the infinitely greater misery a comfortable sleep would have brought upon you! Those were my sticks and stones of love.”
Many times, we need to see the uncomfortable moments as expressions of God’s care for us, to keep us from greater peril. James counseled:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2–3)
You may be going through hard times right now, nothing you would choose. I know some of you are. But stop for a moment and put it in a new frame. God is using this to make you stronger. It is out of the motive of concern that you are here. Let that be your experience.