Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. NIV
This is that last reminder in this passage of James that I began looking at several days ago. The Message translates this verse, “So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so that you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way.” MSG
When you’re in the midst of a stressful situation, sometimes, you just want it to end. Being bound by time, and unable to see the future, I find that I often cannot see any way out of the stress of the moment. But, God can.
This verse is saying, “Don’t take matters into your own hands.” Instead, walk through the trial with grace and trust and perseverance and earnestly look for what you can learn in it. The only lesson may be that the trial comes to an end, but, what a relief that is! And, what a blessing to be able to later tell a brother or sister, “This will come to an end. I know. I’ve walked where you’re walking.”
One of my favorite movies is Sleepless in Seattle. Tom Hanks has suffered the devastating loss of his wife. At one point, he says something like, “I’m going to remember to get up in the morning, and I’m going to breathe in and out every day.” Good advice for one going through a trial … I’d add, “and I’m going to trust God, who knit me together in my mother’s womb, who has numbered every hair on my head and who has counted every hour of my life … He’s in charge.”
That’s what I’ll think about today.