Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 18, 2010

delays and disruptions

Have you ever wanted to give up on a day before it started? Our daughter certainly had every reason to feel this way a week ago as she started her vacation. She stayed up all night to catch a shuttle from New York City to Newark, NJ where she was to catch a plane. The 3:30am shuttle never came (had a breakdown) and she had to catch a cab. Eighty dollars later she was at the airport, still excited to start her vacation. Her flight was on time, until the runway! After a long wait and a trip back to the terminal due to weather, her plane was finally airborne. Upon arriving in Chicago, she discovered her connecting flight had left. Twenty-one hours after her simple shuttle pick up and on time departure she arrived at her destination. It is a fair assumption on my part that you have also had days of delay, disruption and discouragement.

When those days come, how do you respond?  I would like to think that I always tap my spiritual reserves and quote scripture, act joyfully, and use the disruption as an avenue of opportunity to show God’s love and grace. But I don’t!  Can you relate?

As I was thinking over my reading in the book of James recently, it was evident that I knew the principles … I just don’t always practice them. You may feel the same way! When we are not looking to the Father, delays and disruptions will be anything but an avenue to show His grace. Look at a few of the principles that the book of James gives us.

Consider it pure joy when you encounter trials- I know that!
If you lack wisdom, ask God for it- I know that!
Be a good listener- I know that!
Be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer- I know that!
Faith without action is not faith- I know that!
The tongue is hard to handle- I know that!
Resist the devil and he will flee- I know that!
Get close to God and He’ll get close to you- I know that!
Life is fleeting- I know that!
Prayers of the righteous are powerful- I know that!

Like me, you probably knew those principles. But I want to always be moving from knowing to practicing the principles. God builds depth into our lives as we take the delays and discouragements and use them for His glory. When our daily value system is to view life from God’s perspective (you can do it), then what we know begins to be what we do. Along the journey there will always be moments of knowing the Word, followed immediately by a failure to practice it. God is so gracious to forgive and restore us when we confess those moments.  And after doing so, desires that we strive onWord!

So what do long delays and missed connections have to do with the “knowing and doing” of the Word? Everything! They provide an illustration of the opportunities we have each and every average day to reflect Christ from within our circumstances. We don’t need God to remove them, or to remove us from them.  We can call on His power to reflect the image of Christ from within them.  There are people all around you who will see your faith in action.  Don’t be a hearer only …

James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

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