The tragedy at the elementary school in Connecticut has brought to the surface for us our tragedy and the trauma of that experience. We mourn with the families that have lost their precious babies and it hits close to home having Parrish in Kindergarten as well. In truth, we have tried to isolate ourselves from news reports and discussions about it out of self preservation. This senseless tragedy, along with the difficulty of the holidays without Olivia, the 2nd anniversary of her passing in November, and her birthday coming up in January, have gotten me thinking a lot about perseverance lately.
The book of James in the bible is one of my favorite and speaks a lot about suffering and perseverance. James 1:4 says, "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Romans 5:3-5 says (in a nutshell) that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. We are more confident today in our hope than we were prior to loosing Olivia. God walked with us during those horrific first days and weeks, and continues to walk with us not only on our bad days, but our good as well. When human flesh fails and disappoints...He is always there. Sometimes I just have to remind myself to stop and look for him...to stop and listen for him....to talk with him about what is on my heart. During this busy season it is more difficult to find time to do that. It is also hard for me to be still and silent for fear that the old memories of that horrible time will come flooding back to the front of my mind. But Jesus promises us that if we keep persevering under trial we will receive the crown of life..."Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
So we continue to find the joy in each day, like Knox's 1st bites of rice cereal this week...
This Christmas, I wish for you the joy found in the daily moments that comes from persevering through difficult times. Tragedy and hard times do leave their marks, but thankfully tragedy does not have the power to define us because of our hope in Jesus. Happy Birthday and all praise and honor to Him!