“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, from the NIV Bible
Have you ever thought that your response to an unpleasant circumstance should be one of joy?
This past week a “digging machine” along with a crew of men from a plumbing contracting firm in my little town arrived at our house. An extension was made recently to the town sewer line and we are now getting a “hook up.” Sounds great doesn’t it? We felt pretty positive about it as we would no longer have to deal with a few unpleasant issues. And with the digging, we would be able to redirect some extra soil around a tree to create a new shade garden. The yard could stand some reseeding. Repairing the trenched area and sowing seed there….all would be good.
However this nice story took another couple of twists, once the digging began and the inspector threw in his two cents.
Twist ONE: In this case, the inspector’s two cents upped the cost of the project three times. Now, before you hyperventilate for me, we are renting this house. It is a good thing because at this point, we would not be in a position for such an expense if we were the homeowners. For that I am grateful. However, in order to save money, the owner asked the contractors to spread the extra dirt from the trench and hole around the yard rather than cart it away. However, they are not landscapers and used the “digging machine” for the task. The amount of dirt is broad and is quite packed down by the “digging machine” and will be difficult for us to move by hand. And so I confess….all I can see in my backyard now is a mess. A really big mess.
Twist TWO: Monday morning, the crew is returning. With a jackhammer. Evidently there is a problem with the clay tile and the basement bathroom. It seems they will be tearing up the bathroom, the laundry, and the kitchen area, and who knows what else down there. We stopped at Lowe’s last night on the way home from church to purchase plastic tarps and lots of tape. A few people we spoke to mentioned how messy it will be. I heard something like, “it will look like flour has been thrown everywhere.”
We moved into this house less than 7 months ago. A few weeks ago, my husband and I just created a lovely perennial garden in the back (I will share about it soon.) as well as trimming and weeding, and trimming and weeding, and weeding some more, in attempts to make the yard look presentable and livable. Everything on the basement level, including the guest room was starting to look pretty nice, too. Needless to say, this is overwhelming to me. I started out with a positive attitude. Actually looking forward to the good that will come out of all of this. But, then I was overcome with the immensity of the project. Positive flew out the window with a “can-do” spirit.
Today is Joy Day!
Maybe you’re thinking, “What’s there to be joyful about with this messy project?” I’ve been asking myself that too. When I was young, I heard another slightly older young woman, ann kiemel, quote a portion of a Bible verse, “…who for the joy set before him endured the cross…” from Hebrews 12:2. It has always stuck with me. Now in no shape or form am I comparing this plumbing incident with the importance or magnitude of what was accomplished on the cross by Christ. Absolutely not. I’m simply considering, “the joy set before him.” Christ saw past the unimaginable to the glory. He saw people, you and me, rescued from the grasp of sin. He saw sweet fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and yes, you and me. That was the joy. Can we have that kind of joy?
And then there’s that apostle named, James.
He, too, tells us that we should consider it PURE JOY when we face trials.
Hmmm. Joy. I want to wear JOY.
The best way I know to do that is to take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstance and
“…fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,” Hebrews 12:2, and count blessings.
Let me begin.
I consider it pure JOY….
- when the digging machine is loud and my house is dirtied.
- to have a backyard that’s mostly an ugly mound of dirt.
- when my inside cats didn’t go outside when workman came inside my house when I wasn’t home.
- to know unpleasant odors will soon be gone.
- to hear jackhammers and demolition in my basement.
- to clean a dirty, dusty, basement.
- to have a nice basement bathroom.
- to be blessed with a finished basement.
- to have an area for guests.
- to make the backyard ours, even if we don’t actually own it.
- that we may or may not have the help of others recreating the backyard.
- to look forward to a beautiful backyard.
- that I no longer will have to look at bold 80’s floor tile in the basement.
- to choose floor tile I like.
- to live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood, and a quaint town.
- that my husband has been patient with me.
- to have a husband who sees possibility and opportunity in all of this.
- to know God who helps me find joy in trial and unpleasant circumstance.
- to write this blog.
- that YOU are a reader of AnExtraordinaryDay.
What is your trial or difficult circumstance?
Here at An Extraordinary Day I want you to be reminded that you are NOT alone. That there CAN be joy in the journey. That God LOVES you! And so do I. And I also want you to understand that my story is one of inconvenience. It is not life-altering in any way. It doesn’t involve relationships, or illness, or anything really serious. Your trial may be one of a truly difficult nature. Yet, I hope that somehow you will be inspired towards JOY.
Take the Joy Dare at: One Thousand Gifts. Or find ONE THING to be thankful for each day and write it down. Then, come back next week and share your joys here. What fun we’ll have! Bits of joy each day of the week. Plus, sharing in each others’ joys is the BEST way to begin the week!”
I’d love it if you would take a moment to share a day or week’s worth of joys now. Please enter your comment below. And don’t worry about leaving your e-mail address…I promise I won’t spam you, or sell your address to those annoying spammers. It’s just our little community here….loving each other.
Join me here at An Extraordinary Day, next week, for Joy Day! A day to celebrate the joys of our week and the Joy-Giver.
Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.
Praying you have a joy-filled week!
To receive FREE bits of inspiration like this
in your inbox or reader, subscribe now.
I’d be delighted if you’d share the goodness here with your friends.
Click any of the sharing buttons at the bottom.