Janice Boekhoff

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

This year, we had a wonderful spring break vacation to Florida. We drove down then spent five days doing Universal Studios, the zoo, the beach, and Legoland. The kids were mostly sweet and happy and we had a great time.

The drive back—not so great. We left late so Todd and I were exhausted by midnight as we pulled into our hotel. We woke up the other two kids and carried our sleeping four-year old into the room. By 1:30 am, the four-year old was throwing up and she didn’t stop until 8:00 am (when the diarrhea hit her). And we were still two days drive from home. (I now have a new appreciation for hotel housekeepers and the ministry they perform every day).

But the funny thing was, the next day, as I contemplated the rough night through a sleep deprived haze, I realized I wouldn’t have skipped the trip. And as I’m writing this, I can hear my four-year old puking again into a bucket in the back of the van, but even so I wouldn’t have changed a moment of it. The great fun was worth the sacrifice of the pukey trip home.

Which got me thinking. What if God had laid before me every hardship and every joy that would become my life and asked me to decide if I wanted it? What would I have said? Would I bravely salute and take HIs word that all the trials would bring me closer to Him? Or would I cower and ask Him not to make things too hard on me?

If I’m honest, I’d probably be somewhere in between—raising my hand halfway and swallowing the fear in my throat. I’m grateful He is the only one who knows what’s coming next. I don’t need to dread the future. I only need to know that He’s chosen the future for me.

Dear Lord, there’s no way I would choose to skip this life you’ve specifically given to me. Today I’m going to live as if I’ve already decided to endure the hard stuff, and even count it a blessing, knowing it will drive me closer to You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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