“Count it all joy”, the Bible says, “...when you fall into various trials.”
I fell, alright. Slipped on a patch of ice that was hidden from view by the newly fallen snow. I crash-landed on my elbow, breaking the bone in several spots and requiring surgery, plates and screws to put it all back together.
I wasn't feeling particularly joyous when it first happened. Thinking at first that maybe I'd just jammed it, my first thought was just to get home, and I struggled to do so, driving with one hand on snow-covered roads through the increasing storm in the dark of night. Neither did I feel joyful when upon examination I discovered a swollen, discolored, and misshapened mess where my elbow used to be. Although surprisingly not in pain, I was overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events in my life, knowing that in the short term at least, my life was going to change in many ways. But in the three months that have passed since that snowy night, God has taught me how to count joy, using my elbow situation as His textbook of choice. A broken bone is a minor thing compared to the much more difficult life situations a lot of people face. But perhaps the lessons learned in this small matter can apply to much bigger ones, as well.
I long ago learned that there is no point in asking God why something happened; it is an irrelevant point. The better question is to ask Him what He desires to teach us through it, how He plans to use it to somehow work things out to our advantage, as the Bible promises us He will. And so I resolved to look at the upcoming months as an adventure of sorts with God, and simply asked that I not miss the point but have open eyes, ears and heart to whatever He wanted to say.
Surely it was no accident that the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge suddenly came to my attention just two days before the annual event was scheduled to start. While I didn't feel the need to sign up officially this year, I did feel challenged by God to see if I could detail some of the lessons He's taught me, using the same alphabetical and day-to-day format the blogging participants use. Another adventure! I decided to take it on, grateful for the opportunity to formulate my thoughts from the last three months into life lessons I can live by in the future...and hope to have some fun with it along the way!
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
(Romans 8:28 NKJV)