There are many persons who came to see me in the hospital, just after the shooting, who left feeling so much better after visiting with me.
It is not that the injury was less than they imagined; in fact they could never have fathomed the extent of the injury. No, they were relieved that I was in good spirits; that I did not convey a sense of hopelessness.
This worked against me in a way because they left thinking that it was not all that bad. Little could they know the diverse effects of this incident on my life.
As some of you may already have read in my previous posts or in my book, From Lion to Lamb, the truth is that every aspect of my life had been affected.
I was left with only one thing: the freedom to choose which direction I wanted my life to take when all the dust had settled.
Burdening my family and friends with emotional trauma of this magnitude would have meant clogging up the lines of my support network. I just could not do that.
Instead, through the grace of God and the comfort received through prayer and the Holy Spirit, I was able to accept this terrible situation with a peaceful and calm outlook.
James in chapter 1 of his book speaks about accepting trials and tribulations with joy. Not with happiness to trivialize the situation but with a joy that comes from the knowledge that bearing your cross is a sure way to develop perseverance.
It did not end with perseverance. Instead the message is that the testing of one’s faith through trouble brings perseverance or patience as recorded in the King James Version and this in turn develops spiritual maturity.
In learning to bear our burdens with joy, wisdom is required. If you think you lack wisdom then James advises that you ask God for that wisdom.
Asking must be carried out with full confidence in God. One must not be wavering or doubting for that is a sign of one who is unsure; it is indicative of the strength of one’s faith or lack thereof.
James put it so nicely: “For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”
So what burden could be too much to bear in this world, if bearing it with joy is one way to draw closer to God; if it is one route towards the final destination of eternal peace?
Compared to the glory of being with the Almighty in the spiritual realm, the devastation of earthly trials is but like a mist, blown away by a zephyr.
Do you bear your troubles with joy? Are you developing the patience it requires to develop spiritual maturity? Perhaps you feel that you have developed, in that case, please share with us how you accomplished that feat.
Or maybe you do not believe in God but rather you put your faith in your own hands or the supernatural powers of the Universe. Whatever is your position, it would be wonderful to hear your take on the matter of dealing with trials and tribulations.