Words of Worth

Mud Puddles or Sand Castles?

September 19, 2015



C.S. Lewis once told a story about a little boy who wanted to go on “making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” I can picture a contented little boy playing with his trucks in a mud puddle when along comes his father offering to take his son to the beach and the ocean where sand and water are abundant to make fantastic mud pies. However, to get to the beach would require enduring a loooong ride to a place the child had never been and to a place whose glory he cannot imagine. The boy could not stand the thought of the long ride, didn’t really trust his dad, so he dug his boots in the mud and refused to go!

While I’m sure there are many applications of C.S. Lewis’ quote, my mind goes to James 1:2-4:

“2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James is telling us to count it joy when we face trials that will surely come to all of us and in many different shapes and sizes. My knee jerk reaction is that this counting must be some form of modern math. Who would count trouble as an opportunity for joy? I’d prefer to subtract trials from my life. And that’s because I’d rather play in the mud puddle than go to the beach. Is it possible I feel that way because I don’t have the right perspective about what suffering can produce in my life?

When my faith passes the test of the trials that God allows in my life, it produces endurance. And when I endure under trials, James 1:12 reminds me that “
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him
.” The word persevere is the Greek word, “hupomone” which means to “hyper-stand”. When we “hyper-stand” we stand our ground UNDER the trial rather than wiggling out from under it. We persevere; we hang in there; we trust God has a better plan!

When we let suffering have its way in our lives, even when we think we cannot stand the long ride through the trial, God takes us from the mud pies in the slum and blesses us with the holiday at the sea!

And now on this beautiful Saturday in September, I’m heading to the beach!

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