"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." - James 1:2-5
Despite the crashing waves around me, there is always a place I can stand, steadfast and unshaken. In Him - the very essence of who He is - will be the wings under which I take refuge. It is only there that the waves no longer tower over me. In His arms, I am filled with a joy that no situation has the power to steal - firmly planted in confident assurance of who my Savior is.
No matter how seemingly hopeless a situation I face, I cling to a simple conviction set deeply within my soul: He is with me.
Storms destroy what is at the surface, the things of the world around me, but the most hidden treasure - a steadfast faith in Jesus - remains untouched by even the strongest of waves.
Yet, the paradox of it all is this: the storms of life are what produce a steadfast faith. My weakness and inability to change a situation is the very opportunity for God’s power to shine. It is through these seasons that His light shines brightly upon the dark areas of my heart. It is the excavation site for the hidden places of doubt and fear - only revealed by trial.
The gaping holes of excavation may sting for a moment; but, if I am willing, He will not leave them empty. In my weakness, clinging solely to Him, they are rebuilt with His tender love and grace. A garment of unshakeable joy wraps around me; the Father, filled with mercy, holds me close.
I once believed that the waves of trial are the culprit behind the shaking, but after stepping back to look at the ruins, I realized they shake already crumbling areas of foundation.
It is in these moments that all the cries to God of “Why is this happening to me?” are replaced with a humble realization that the waves were His grace all along - a kindness to not leave me with a crumbling foundation, ready to fall apart at any moment.
The waves aren’t meant as punishment; they are the very operating table my heart so desperately needs. They are the testing site for who my faith is in - the very water that causes seeds of faith to bloom.
The waves may crash around me, but I refuse to let the winds blow away my garment of joy. In His refuge I will stand, filled with faith because I know that my Savior is faithful and full of love - never allowing the waves to destroy me, but to be the place of rebuilding an unshakeable foundation in Him.
And for that reason, I will count it all as joy - a joy that transcends any wave because I choose to trust He is with me, for me, and will work all things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).