Stop trying and know.

Consider it wholly joyful, my brothers and sisters, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and testing of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

 4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

If any of you is deficient in wisdom let him ask of the giving God, [who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given to him. 6 Only it must be in faith, without wavering [no hesitating or doubting God’s willingness to help], for the one who wavers is like the billowing surge out at the sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord. 8 [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating =, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, and decides].

The first time I remember hearing this passage, I was a teenager in Sunday school. My teacher, whom I respected and trusted, presented a lesson on James 1:2-3. I vividly remember the take away as, “be thankful for trials; be glad to have them”. This was impressionable to me as a teen; it gave me something to strive for. It seems admirable {kinda}; however, somewhere along the way “being thankful for trials” didn’t really shape  up to being practical or an image of my Savior’s promises. It’s hard to say if this being thankful and happy about hard things was something I personally inferred and allowed for resolution within or if this was the intent of the lesson. Either way, it became evident to me, I needed to seek revelation from God about the depths of James’ truth.

I’ll be honest. My heart seeks to love first; my God, my husband, my family, my patients, friends and everyone I come in contact with. I have a genuine Spirit-given and led desire to love and serve others, but I fight. I fight with struggling, striving, trying, achieving. I try to be aware of the unevenness of my moods, temper, personality. My responses to people, my tone and facial expressions, at work and at home. I’m not always up to par when I’m physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. To be specific, I’ll hi light my job.

I work full time as an occupational therapist, definition below. I manage 3 full caseloads and 2 occupational therapy assistants in a small rural clinic, hospital & nursing home. It seems lately, as if I’ve been extraordinarily busy; working long hours, combating inefficiencies, some I can control and most I cannot. {I have a hard time letting the cannots, cannot} However, in 3 years, I’ve worked in multiple settings, with numerous people and varying degrees of factors; some similar and some vastly different than my current job. THEY HAVE ALL BEEN TIRING AND HARD.

I recognized the selfishness of this idea {my job is hard and I’m tired, waa waa waa} and the despair it brings my soul. Working in health care is stressful (so is business, construction, education and everything else). Being an over achieving, employee is emotionally and physically taxing (so is being a compassionate teacher, researcher or missionary). I’ve made job changes in the past, to “better myself and family” and the level of fatigue and difficulty doesn’t seem to budge. Different opportunity, different challenges.  I’ve spent too much time at  self loathing pity parties; invitation only. Me. So, I’ve been on a mission. A mission to seek from the Lord first as to how to make a change. An internal change first, since I’m the common denominator.

It would be easy to infer from James 1:2 that I should simply; “be thankful for all the hardships I face at work and to consider it pure joy”. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried it. I spent too much time, trying to be thankful; trying to be joyful; trying to be patient and steadfast. Walking away with the same level of anxiety and fatigue and disheartenment as before.

I learned, you can’t try to live by the fruits of the spirit. As a born again believer, you ARE the fruits of the spirit. They are inside of you working hand in hand with the Holy Spirit that God gave to us when we accepted him as Lord of our lives. But just like the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we have to engage it.  Activate your faith in God knowing that He is joy and has given us joy that comes with trials; to prove our faith in Him; to be complete.

Oh great, something else to do; be joyful in trials, try to have faith and try to be complete. NO!!! To experience these truths and to be assured of them. James tells us to prove/activate our faith; that the trial AND proving of your faith [together] bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. (James 1:3)

So there, we can’t just have a trial and be joyful; you might be excellent at that…..I am NOT. James says the trial AND the proving of your faith will bring out the coveted fruits. It’s noting we can manufacture, it’s nothing we can get better at doing.  It’s not something we can achieve. We get it by the proving of our faith. Which is not something you “do”; you change your mind about it, by knowing it and assuring yourself.

We don’t do. We know. We seek to know God more and our faith and our assurance in Him becomes more.

I’m stubborn. And when “I know something, I know it”. It doesn’t matter how I feel, what the circumstances are or what someone else tells me. “I know it”. Lately, I’ve chosen to know God’s truth and word and promises despite what others say, or how I feel; and this, my friends…..will change your life.

11 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and  the conviction of their reality. [faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]

We just assure ourselves that what we hope for IS. We know it. I’ve never been successful at fabricating patience and endurance. But, I have experienced the peace of mind knowing, that I have the Holy Spirit in me and if I choose to know that I have ALL things that He gives; I already have patience and endurance inside of me. I just need to re-assure myself to KNOW that truth, and exercise it.

To KNOW it; is to KNOW it; despite all else. That’s what we have “to do”. No more trying, striving, whining and crying. Just KNOW and just do. I just modified Nike’s whole mantra. “Just know it. Just do it” You’re welcome Nike; we like this slogan better.

 

Occupational Therapist: a medical professional that works hand in hand with patients, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in creating and implementing treatment plans & education for patient/clients in the rehabilitation/recovery process; mostly after injury, illness or due to a physical or cognitive dysfucntion/delay.