Can You Stand The Test?

  • Nov. 2, 2006
  • #6394

Joni shares how God's grace is not just for big catastrophes, but for everyday sorts of tests and trials.

I remember last year when Ken and I were doing a home remodeling project. I think we were inspired by "trading spaces" or a Home Depot ad or something. Anyway, I went out and got myself a couple of copies of Better Homes & Gardens, leafed through those beautiful living room photographs. I picked up a few samples of fabrics and paints and I spread everything out on the kitchen table. There we were, me and my husband, with big plans, high hopes, and glorious visions of the perfect remodel on our living room and bedroom. Well, that glory soon departed. It stopped being fun two months into construction.

This time last October, Ken was sleeping in the middle of our living room surrounded by boxes covered with plastic sheeting. And also covered by a quarter inch of drywall dust. I in turn remained in our bedroom, despite the floor-to-ceiling ply board that was smack up against the mattress. Somewhere between wrangling over the color of stain for the ceiling molding and that awful night when we almost lost it at Carpets-R-Us, we knew we needed help. No, not with a second mortgage or an interior decorator or a marriage counselor. What we needed was a new perspective. Our gratitude had grown tired, and we needed grace.

Ken and I found it when we stumbled across Romans 5:3 where it says, "Let us rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope." Okay (we looked at each other)... so we can rejoice in our remodel. After all, there is a light at the end of this tunnel of carpet and paint and sawdust everywhere, right? 

Right! Believe it or not, we actually drew encouragement from Romans, chapter 5, because there is something wonderfully man-sized about the Apostle Paul's response to his hardships. It's like he's saying, Hang in there, stand the test, friends, the end is in sight. Hope is on the horizon. And I can't begin to tell you what a difference that made in Ken's attitude and mine. We just needed a little perseverance. A right approach to problems-whether great or small-is a wonderful thing to have plastered, painted, and dry-walled into your character.

Sometimes we think that Romans 5 is only reserved for huge life catastrophes. We forget that God's grace-giving power is mostly for everyday sorts of tests and trials-like adding a little square footage to your home or, putting down new carpet. 

So... what are your tests today? Where do you need patience or perseverance? Where do you need staying-power, and hope? Ask God to help you step back and see a bigger picture than the trial right in front of your nose. Because he uses everything in your life to hammer your character and remodel it to be like Jesus... and that should give you hope. 

 

© Joni and Friends

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