I’m great at finding escape routes. First sign of trouble, before the flames have begun to roar, I’m grabbing the fire extinguisher, my stash of tootsie rolls, and I’m racing toward the emergency exit.
I’m incredibly trial adverse. When there’s even a hint of difficulty, I launch into fix it mode, and before I can catch my breath—made all the more challenging by my hyperventilation—I’ve strategized numerous game plans and have already started to seek them out. Like all of them. All at once, in case the first five don’t pan out.
But my frantic attempts to remain comfortable leave me stunted, broken, and immature. Perhaps that’s why God allows me to continually land in the eye of the storm, urging me to stay. To endure.
To trust, to lean into Jesus, and to grow.
In James chapter one, Jesus’ brother wrote the words that make many of us cringe. Consider it joy, my brothers and sisters, when trials and temptations come. Because the testing of our faith develops perseverance.
The ability to hold tight, undeterred, unswerving, to our call to know Christ and make Him known, even when we have every reason to cave.
This enduring hinges on one easily overlooked, three letter word: Let. “Let perseverance finish it’s work,” James said. Don’t run away. Don’t crawl out from under it. Instead, plant your feet, grit your teeth, and lean as hard as you must on your Savior, because though it hurts now, this is how God is making you perfect, complete.
Emotionally and spiritually whole.
Few, if told they had an abscessed tooth would habitually avoid the dentist. Those with cancer intentionally seek treatment, knowing full well how difficult that journey will be.
Do we seek spiritual and emotional health with the same passion and focus? Or are we distracted by our never-ending search for an escape route.
Life’s going to hit. Hard.
Trials and temptations aren’t optional, but how we face them is. We can feed our fight or flight response until it grows stronger and we weaker, or we can fix our feet and our thoughts on our Savior as He chisels and molds, stretches and grows us.
The next time life squeezes you and leaves you searching for the emergency exit, drop to your knees instead. Hold tight to Jesus, asking Him to give you the strength to endure, as you learn to live Wholly Loved.