Today we are waiting for the weather to clear. Yesterday was a picture perfect day in Ohio - low humidity, with deep blue skies and wispy white clouds. I couldn't have imagined a more beautiful day for us to explore Cincinnati while Riley and her Aunt Jill were hunting for the ideal settings for her senior pictures.
Some time in the night, I was awakened by the deep rumble of thunder. There was something about the rhythmic pattern of rain on the roof that coaxed me to snuggle deeper under the covers and doze back off to sleep. By eight o'clock this morning, the rain was still coming down, although the weather forecast had only predicted a twenty percent chance of rain. A look at the radar convinced us that it would be a big mistake to try taking our bikes out on the trail any time soon. The storms are continuing to build and roll across Ohio as we rearrange our plans.
The huge difference in the weather between yesterday and today reminds me of life. One day, things can be picture perfect, while the next day can bring one storm after another. I can't count the number of times that circumstances have been going along favorably for quite some time, then suddenly something happens that makes me slam on the brakes of life and re-evaluate. The book of James gives me some great insight: "2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2-4 (KJV)
I know the wording used in these verses is no mistake. Verse two uses the word 'when' not 'if' in referring to troubles occurring in our lives. So I know that I will have trials and temptations. I don't need to question why I'm experiencing challenges. God's word is clear that when my faith is tried, I have the opportunity to grow, mature and be complete in Him.
Just as the rain will eventually stop today, the storms of life will also pass by, hopefully leaving us more conformed to the image of our Savior. The choice is ours. Will we be surprised when the trial comes, and choose bitterness as a result of it? Or will we remember that troubles are coming and choose joy in the midst of our trial, knowing that we can allow the hardship to help us grow? What will you choose?