Ok, I'm writing this at 3am for 2 reasons. I bet you can guess number 1. ---Because my kid won't sleep for the second night in a row, and reason number 2 is because it is fresh on my mind and I wanted to share.
In my daily quiet time, I have been praying for opportunities for spiritual growth and maturity and I think I am learning the first lesson....
If anyone that's reading this has had kids, you know how difficult it is when your child won't stop crying and won't go to sleep, therefore you get no sleep and you think you might go insane. It is a hard thing to do! When this happens at our house, most of the time (and I have to be honest here) I lose control and I have a meltdown around this time, 3am, and it's not pretty. I get mad at God and blame Him and I think why is this happening to me, doesn't God know I need sleep?? It's really not fair, why won't my kid just go to sleep? And of course, I thought that tonight as Jude is screaming his head off, no closer to sleep than I am. Then I started thinking that when people ask me how I'm doing, I tell them I'm truly joyful. And it's true. I am truly joyful. BUT, I realized that I am telling them this when things are going well. Of course I'm joyful when things are going well, who isn't? Anyone can be happy when things are fine and dandy. Then I remembered James 1:2-3 that says "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." I've heard this passage many times. It's a difficult passage to read, much less follow. And I usually read over it thinking that I'll try it when the time comes, but I very rarely ever do. What I was missing in this situation was that God wants me to be joyful in my trials, too, when things are rough, not just when things are going well and easy. He wants me to be joyful when Jude is crying for hours and hours and neither of us are getting any sleep, just like I am to be joyful in the good times, too. This is all a test of faith.
After all this went through my head, I started thinking about people I know, many at our church, who are going through serious trials--trials much worse than mine--and they are joyful and praising God for His goodness, in the midst of the bad. Why shouldn't I be doing the same thing? Just kind of puts things in perspective, ya know?
With having said all this, I want to say that I am learning to be have the same joy when things are bad as when they are good.
I think Jude is asleep now, so therefore I will be heading to bed myself. Thank goodness.