Wednesday, July 5, 2006
A Blooming Christian
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
James 1:2-3 niv
Up until a few days ago, I had a lush hibiscus tree on my deck. This morning I glanced out my back door to see this once beautiful plant had deteriorated into a pitiful state. Our back yard has a small patch of woods and it looks as if an animal might have gotten hold of the hibiscus and almost killed it. Yellow and brown leaves droop from every branch. In spite of it all, the plant managed to force out several beautiful peach blossoms.
It made me think of people who, in spite of horrendous events that would kill weaker souls, manage to bloom – becoming more beautiful people in the process. No bitterness exudes from their personalities. They not only take the lemons they’re handed and make lemonade, they find the zest in life – the lessons learned, and share them with others.
A friend of mine has been through unbelievable trials. To relate how much he’s been through would take hours, but he has never wavered in his faith in God. Not that he hasn’t asked God “Why??” many times. He has. And with good reason. I have struggled with these issues myself with regard to his circumstances, but if you talk to him today, he talks only of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Contrast this with another friend who makes, as my mother used to say, “mountains out of molehills.” Every event in life turns into a major dramatic trauma, and an excuse to complain to God and anyone else who will listen. “Why me??”
The Apostle James wrote (James 1:2-4) that we should consider our many kinds of trials as joyful, tests for our faith, that we might develop perseverance. Only then will be mature and complete Christians.
I know we’ve all had trials that caused us to question God, and I have to say, I’ve done my share of complaining. But I want to be like my faithful friend, and kind of like that plant on my deck – blooming anyway, giving praise to God, and glorifying Him – a mature Christian.
Now I must tend to my hibiscus, poor thing. It looks like it might have gone a few rounds with a squirrel and the squirrel won.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that in the worst of trials, I can lift my head and praise You, knowing that You never leave nor forsake me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Donna J. Shepherd 2006 All rights reserved.
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