by Sarah Nelson
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.
Life has been a bit rough and bumpy lately. I’ve been trying to navigate my way around potholes of health issues, loneliness, parenting challenges, uncertain addresses, and other life situations. There have been moments where I have felt like giving up and not pressing on to what I have been called and equipped to do on my life’s journey. It’s been too tempting to stay in my pajamas while teaching math and science to my children, to heat up the umpteenth can of soup and call it a meal.
Yesterday morning was a tough one. My natural inclination was to stay home from church, cocoon myself away from others, and try to grab some extra hours of sleep that have been in short supply the past few weeks. I made it through the morning, albeit sans make-up, and almost got through a yummy potluck dinner at church before Micah experienced another of his massive nosebleeds. After Dave got it somewhat under control, I took Micah home to get him cleaned up. He was pale and not his usual zippy self, but he was determined to play in his basketball game.
While Micah was getting his team’s tee shirt on, and tying up his basketball shoes, I gathered wipes and hand towels to bring a long in case another bloody nose came upon Micah. We got to the gym full of enthusiastic first and second graders, parents, and grandparents. Thankfully I had remembered to take some pain reliever for my already throbbing head. An hour, I could make it through.
Finally Micah’s game began. A game that is supposed to be basketball, but in actuality looks like a combination of football, wrestling and soccer, with some foundation of basketball underneath it all. It’s entertaining. It’s precious. My son is not the fastest on the court, he has yet to make a basket, and he likes to guard his own teammates who are trying to make baskets. He does it all with a smile and zeal. It doesn’t discourage him when others say, “What ARE you doing?” He doesn’t give up when he is playing at half strength and looking pale as a glass of milk. The loud buzz of the signal causes him anxiety, so he wears his bright orange earplugs and doesn’t care when other children stare at him. He lives. He goes on. He presses forward. He doesn’t let his different style and abilities hinder him. He finds solutions, gets the assistance he needs, and continues on. He is my little hero with a big heart and a giant love for life. He is my teacher. He is my son.
Let’s not lose hope, sisters, when trials come. They are allowed by the Lord to make us more and more like Him. It is so often during the times in life where we feel ill-equipped, inadequate, and out of our comfort zone, that Jesus shines most brightly through our lives. This past week I’ve found myself singing, “Hide it under a bush, NO! I’m going to let it shine!” Let’s press on together, bringing the light of Jesus to a world who needs Him.