Hurry Up and Wait
"2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." || James 1:2-5 ||
Why does James say count it all joy when we fall into trials? Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, something we are not naturally inclined towards. James is reminding us to be joyful and hopeful in Christ who will save us from our trials and protect us in them. Job goes through multiple trials as a firm believer-even having his friends and family turn against him in his misery. Was he happy? No. But happiness and joy are different.
David prayed in agony and fasted when his son was dying but when his son died, he rose up, donned on his robe and rejoiced that his son was now resting in heaven and he would return to him one day. He's not happy his son is dead but he trusts and find comfort in the joy that he will see his son again.
I stood in line at Starbucks the other morning. I wondered why someone would need to describe the color of a unicorn frappachino for ten minutes while dozens of people lined up out the door for their morning coffee. I grew impatient since the lady kept making a personal five minute connection with each customer. I wasn't even going to be late for work but kept my impatient face on. As soon as I ordered and realized that customers were getting their drinks before me, my impatience began to show a bit more. A family friend came up to me to tease me about how much I resembled my dad with my impatient face and I laughed but later realized that I should have been more patient. I wasn't even late for work and yet I was acting like they were wasting my time.
How many people saw me so irritated? How many people watch when we don't think about it? How many people did I influence righteously as I pouted?
Rhetorical question, there weren't any that I positively impacted from this. I should have had joy through this minor patience test instead of getting irritated. A family friend at church literally went through a legal trial where he had friends lie and accuse him of things that he did not do. That was an ongoing trial that only was resolved through prayer and time of endurance. He had to have joy through the pain of those betraying him and most especially God. When the trial was concluded, it left the judge to wonder how it turned out so well for the Christians.
It was simple. God did it. God led them out of the trial as they all struggled to find joy as those people turned on them. Trials are not neccesarily a direct result of sin either. Like in the case of Job, he was a righteous man who Satan wanted to see fall. God allows him to prod at Job through various means, resulting in major trials and tribulations.In the army words they told the soldiers, 'Hurry up and wait.'
God tells us to hurry to Him but wait on His deliverance. Have patience, and wait joyfully.