Today’s Reading: James 2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
I am thankful for the seasons.
I appreciate the change of weather and the change of routine. I am thankful to live where the change of season is dramatic. A marked difference from one to the next, each offering both it’s best and its worst. I am glad for the uniqueness of each, and how they spur reflection and ripples of change through our lives.
I am thankful that the seasons revolve predictably. As summer fades, we anticipate cooler nights and coloured leaves. In the bitter cold of dark winter, we know that the warmth of spring will one day come. Our calendars mark the change, and then we wait. We know that spring will come, but it comes in its own time. It may be a “cool spring”, a “late spring”, or a “slow spring”, but we know that one day, it will come.
It can be difficult to wait through hard seasons. To keep hope. To persevere. To believe that winter will end, and that spring will come. The long winters of our lives can linger. The dark nights of our souls can endure so long that we hardly remember the seasons of light.
I have recently returned to a rhythm of running regularly.
My friend Alicia – a kindred spirit in so many ways – recently posted reflections on running and perseverance through hard seasons, and her thoughts resonated with me deeply.
We all approach hills in different ways.
Some see the hill, and give up.
Some climb slowly, head down, agonizing each step.
Some, sprint forward, with blazing eyes, burning to put it behind them.
Some pace themselves and steadily overcome.
Hills are hard seasons. Some are short and steep. If I can see the peak, I can dig deep & power through. Some are long, hard, and consuming. Some never seem to end, and it is hard to persevere.
The latter is where I find myself now. A hard season in many ways. It is for many of us.
But – as I look to scripture – to the Word and His word – I see the upside-down, inside-out joy-giving way of the Kingdom to consider it pure joy to climb these hills, to endure this season, because of the good, good things that He is growing in me as I do. This season will turn, and when it does I will look back and see how I have been refined, strengthened, and made more like Him.
When you find yourself in the midst of a hard season, take heart. Look to the Lord. Look in to the word. Reach out to the people who love Him and who love you. He is with you. He will help you. He will strengthen you.
This team, this community, this family is always here for you. Reach out. It is our joy to walk with you.
Fear not, for I am with you.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you. I will help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Deuteronomy 3:18
A Digital Refresh is a regular series for the staff at Mini-Yo-We.
When we gather together for worship and learn from God’s word we call it “Refresh.” Even though we aren’t at camp we can still gather together to share God’s word through a Digital Refresh.
For more resources check out our summer staff resource page.