James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Patience. Who wants it? Who needs it? Apparently we all should and do, when we are looking for God’s completeness.
My devotional reading today included an illustration of a ministry leader pointing to a completed building project and saying that the building built him. Which led me to this question: Who or what has or is building me?
Looking at a trial with that question in mind should steer the mind and emotions away from making the experience about something that God didn’t intend. We can look at trials very horizontally when God intends all things to be viewed vertically. Vertical lookers ask where is God building, what is He building in me, in the organization, in the community, or in this relationship. Horizontal lookers ask how could God allow this, how could they treat me like that, where is the justice, or what were they thinking.
When the horizontal view has robbed you of your joy, step back. Look at “the construction.” Ask God what are the plans, what is He building in you. Then reply, “Thank you. You are in charge. You are wiser than I am. I look forward to your completed work.”