JOY IN THE JOURNEY…EVEN THE BUMPS!

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James 1:2-4 (NIV) 2  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

This morning I stood and looked out the window marveling at the lush green grass, the result of amazing rains after a very long drought.

A bold rabbit was nibbling away at my flowers but must have seen a glimpse of me because he suddenly wanted desperately to leave the fenced-in area of our yard.  He stuck his head through the circular links in the fence but he was way too big to escape that way.  He bounced hard against one too-small opening and then another…leaving me wondering if he was going to injure himself. Thankfully, it didn’t take long before he was out…moving with lightening speed.

In just a few minutes I noticed a baby squirrel trying to figure out how to get to the bird feeder.  We have a feeder that has a large hollow tube on the feeder pole.  The tube keeps squirrels from making it up the pole to the feeder.  This little guy (like all of the others before him) had his head inside the big hollow tube, trying to figure out how to beat the system. Their curiosity and tenacity always makes me laugh.  Eventually he gave up and feasted on the bounty the birds had dropped on the ground.

It made me think of us as humans.  We want what we can’t have and sometimes we gain what we want but shouldn’t have.  The rabbit has 100 acres right behind us and he even has the other half of our acre that isn’t fenced to feed on.  It is plentiful and delicious and God given.  Still…he made his way through the fence to what he perceived as “greener grass”. Then…once discovered, he was forced to risk harm as he thrust himself against the prison-like links in order to escape.

The squirrel had bounty all around him…seeds hand delivered right at his feet. Still, he nervously stuck his head into a hole where he risked possible harm.

Adventure.  We all need it.  God gave us the desire to conquer and explore.  It is a blessing and a joy.  So we take chances and long to discover…to conquer…to attain.

The squirrel did find a rainbow at the end of his other adventures.  We had 13 beautiful tomatoes and he carried away 12.  We didn’t know squirrels ate tomatoes, let alone were capable of carrying them into the trees whole!

The rabbit had some tasty new treats he would not have enjoyed, had he not ventured into unknown territory.

It should go without saying here, that as humans, we have a greater responsibility to choose with integrity.  But there…I said it anyway. (Smile)

As children of the King, He wants us to enjoy the challenges and the victories.  The balance of which challenges to take on should come from Him.  Once we feel certain the idea and tenacity are from Him, we can find inexplicable joy in the journey.  The challenges and bumps and bruises will not discourage us for long and certainly will not defeat us, because we know it is He who has put us on this journey.  The whole journey will be rewarding (if not always exciting) because we will know that even the hardest places are filtered through His guiding hand!

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