Today’s Scripture: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers tempataions; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

Have you ever been stuck driving down the highway behind a truck? How about while it’s snowing or sleeting, and the truck’s tires are throwing a continuous barrage of slush and salt at your windshield while the wipers valiantly attempt to keep up with the onslaught and provide some visibility? OK, that may sound a bit dramatic, but navigating the highways and byways of Chicagoland in the winter can provide some tense moments. I won’t even get into the pot holes that have been known to swallow a Volkswagen!

Admit it. You’ve probably had times when you thought (or said), “Why do we need all of these trucks on the roads? All they do is slow me down making it harder for me to get to my destination, and mess up my car!” or, “I wish this truck in front of me would just disappear!”

If we could get past the frustration long enough to think, we would realize that we don’t know all the details about that truck. Maybe it has life changing cargo, such as medical research equipment for a local hospital, or perhaps it’s something a little more ordinary but still vitally important, like groceries for the neighborhood supermarket.

Trials that we experience in our Christian life can be like those trucks. They seem to get in our way, slow us down, and make it hard to see the road we are trying to navigate in our life. We may be tempted to pray, “God, why this trial at this point in my life when I’m trying so hard to serve You?” or, “Lord, just take away this problem, and I’ll be much more effective for You!” But we don’t have God’s perfect perspective! He knows is best for us and others. Maybe He needs to slow us down to minister to someone we wouldn’t have noticed. Perhaps that promotion would have been detrimental to our spiritual life. Maybe that family situation will eventually draw your child and all others watching closer to Christ. Try it; apply this thinking to your current trial.

The next time a trial gets in your way and makes it difficult to see clearly the direction you’re supposed to go, pray that God would give you not only the strength to endure it, but also the wisdom to learn from it. Then give Him the glory.

For further remembrance, the next time you are frustrated by that truck in front of you, blocking your view, making a mess of things…remember to thank God for that truck and its cargo. Then, recall a troublesome trial that you either went through or are going through, and thank God for that, too!

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.