Last week I had a really hard day. I mean really hard.
It wasn’t difficult in the sense of monumental painful experiences, but it was a constant fight all day to keep myself (and my emotions) in check. I woke up feeling off, I was sad and lonely and just kind of blah. My husband was out-of-town on business and I was starting to feel the emptiness in the house, and it didn’t help that my monthly womanly visit was in full swing!
Not wanting this lousy emotional state to color my whole day, I spent some time in worship and prayer before allowing myself to leave the bedroom to get my morning cup of coffee. Typically this does the trick. A focused effort on God and not on my circumstances tends to turn things around immediately. I could feel the raging mob of my emotions start to dissipate, so I began preparing for the busy day ahead.
And nothing was going right.
My hair was determined not to cooperate and my clothes were not fitting right. I got concealer in my eye which required 5 solid minutes of flushing before I could start redoing my makeup and wouldn’t you know it, I got a bloody nose from just looking at my face in the bathroom mirror.
The morning was an appropriate foreshadowing of the rest of my fitful day. It seemed my body was deaf to my reminders that my emotions do not run my life! Struggling still to master my thoughts as I drove from one meeting to the next, I was struck with this revelation: the Lord wants to develop character in me today.
That was it! This is why my circumstances lined up so horribly. It wasn’t horrible at all, it was a day of perseverance to build my character. My rogue emotions and patience-trying experiences were unified against me not as malicious villains, but as a platform for growth.
And this was just what I needed. God knew that I needed a hard day. A day of fighting my natural tendencies and struggling to maintain peace and joy. Suddenly, my whole world shifted! The day still was a struggle, from beginning to end. Yet I found new depths of strength and resolve as I reminded myself that God was forging character in me: I needed to let perseverance finish its work for the day.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:1-4
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