Sorry that we weren’t posting last week. I (Amanda) had a very chaotic week with a sick family member, class and balancing two jobs but we’re back this week! Happy Monday! Here’s Mariana:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever 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 2-4 (NIV)
This September was the beginning of a new school year for the students that I teach. Many of them have never been separated from their parents and have been battling separation anxiety and whatnot. They’ve thrown fits on the ground, cried after making a small mistake, refused to participate in some activities, and the list goes on. As an adult, I am tired and exhausting of reminding the kids that their parents will be coming back. They are not abandoned.
Now going into the third week, I have seen significant progress in almost all of the students. Although many of them still tell me they miss their parents and occasionally have some sad moments, they are adapting to their new school environment, making friends, and learning two languages as they should. I see them smiling more when I walk into the classroom, and their smiles are genuine.
Just like these kids, we are put in situations that completely take us out of our comfort zone. We plead, complain, beg, and whine to express how we feel. Yet, how often are we content? To be joyful in times like these is not rare, but it is possible. After seeing the students overcoming their obstacles, they are learning that all this is done for their good. Their parents are thinking of their kids’ future and health. This is the same with the Lord. He knows our every need. Jesus, Himself, said in Matthew 6:8, ”’…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”’ (NIV).
When we dwell too much on the negative, we forget about what is to come. All these trials that James talks about in the verses mentioned above are helpful in our maturing, so we do not lack anything (v.4). What a blessing from the Lord! To find joy in the times of trouble…I think that’s the coolest think to see! I’ll be honest though, as I go through trials and troubles, the hardest thing to think about is joy. Maybe I’ve been shown to act a certain way in certain situations. But the Lord is telling us to act differently. And when the people around us seem so pessimistic or dark, we should be the ones turning the tables.
Please let us know if you need prayer about specific situations. Comment below and let us know what you think. We love hearing from you ❤