1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:1-4 NASV)
Even if you are reading me these verses in another Bible translation, I can only actually hear this verse in New American Standard Version, which was the Bible my youth group leader, Steve Wibberley, bought for me, and James 1 was one of the dozen or so chapters he wrote in the front cover, for me to have as guidance for my life. I wish I could talk to him these days, and to his sister, Marcia, who he suggested to "disciple" me (serve as a mentor) during those particularly difficult teen years, and who challenged me to memorize several of those scripture passages with her. I'd tell them that their work was not wasted on me. That their time invested in me protected me from quite a bit of danger, and that to this day, those verses come back to my mind, years later. And they still apply to my life today.
So I'm deciding today to consider it all joy, because we certainly are having "various" things going on. I realize I am not anywhere near perfect and complete, and definitely, I am not lacking in nothing. So I give in.
And here's the next verse: 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
So I'm asking. And I'm going back to recement this chapter in my memory, so it can speak to my current circumstances. If any of you haven't memorized much, this is a good one to start with. If you want, I have a list!! :) Thank you Steve, Marcia.
(I was reminded of this chapter when I saw a snippet ofMcMama's post, which contained "counting it all joy." What a blessing I was given, to have been exposed to God's word, so that it can come back at the right moments, like this.)
In October 2006, we went for an ultrasound for our fifth child, and were told that our daughter probably had a chromosomal defect. We were urged to get an amniocentesis so that genetic testing could be done, “so the doctors will know what decisions to make.” The specialist told us that he suspected Trisomy 13 or 18, and if he was correct, then no OB would do a c-section because it wouldn’t make a difference for the end outcome. Besides, no surgeon would operate on her back (she had a meningocele – spina bifida), because “Trisomy 18 and 13 are what are called lethal conditions. They are incompatible with life.”
That’s how our story with her began, but it is most certainly not the end. As her amazing pediatrician said about examining her at birth, “I looked into her eyes, and she looked back at me and said, I’m here for the long haul, chick.”