When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2 NLT
“Meme, I found a stick,” our middle grandson yelled. But it wasn’t.
School had dismissed for the Thanksgiving holidays, so my wife and I decided to take our two oldest grandboys to a national historic site in Ninety Six, South Carolina. We took along a double-seat stroller. Although both boys are old enough to walk, the trail is more than a mile long.
Having perfectionist tendencies like his mom and pop, the youngest proceeded to remove all sticks he found on the walkway. Upon finding another, he yelled with excitement. So did my wife—but not with the same type of excitement.
Our grandson had discovered dog poop. Hopefully not from a visitor’s dog who let their animal do this in the middle of the walkway—but dog scat nevertheless. When my wife yelled back, he dropped the scat and gave us a confused look. Wasn’t it okay to remove sticks from the trail? My wife quickly retrieved the antibacterial wipes while explaining to him what he had picked up.
Early believers knew all about stinky days. Persecution filled theirs. In spite of their circumstances, James tells them to consider it all joy. Wise advice, yet not always easy to carry out.
I’ve lived long enough to know some days will just stink. In fact, some periods in life will stink as well. Not all stinkiness goes away in a day. I’ve walked through years that stunk. Years following a family breakup, years following financial strains and pains, and years dotted with continual physical upsets.
Perhaps God intends for us to experience stinky days that don’t result from personal sin or sin in the world. Days which test our limits . . . our faith. Days when God forces us to run to Him instead of other people and other's substances. Days which teach us lessons we can’t learn any other way. Days that stretch us beyond limits we didn’t know we had.
Considering the stinky days all joy—or being joyful in spite of the stinky days—requires a different perspective. One only God can give. A perspective wherein we believe He’s going to bring good out of the stinkiness. And He will. A perspective which clings to the fact that He loves us . . . regardless of how things appear. And He does.
Don’t let the stinky days smell up your life. Believe God has something better ahead.
Tweetable: Are the stinky days ruining your life?
Prayer: Father, when the days stink, draw us to You for comfort.