Where’s the joy I can count on when I’m at my most vulnerable? How in the world do “trials of various kinds” produce steadfastness? Sometimes the meaning of a specific word becomes the catalyst of my heart when I’m unsure about where the Spirit is leading my thoughts. Today that word is “steadfastness.”
My thoughts began with steadfastness being about my strength and my survival. I know everything is not supposed to be about me but honestly we’re talking about “my” trials and “my” joy. I know that is surely a vulnerable beginning to count on so I had to ponder…what is steadfastness?
— stead: the place a substitute fills
— fastness: being fixed and able to maintain it’s color without fading
I have some experience hand-dyeing fiber that has helped me understand how important the preparation of sheep’s wool is to color “fastness.” I have much more experience with Jesus as my substitute. The delight of my heart is finding new meanings of old words to help me understand that preparation beforehand is what explains the relationship between various trials that produce steadfastness and joy.
Joy is more than just the result of having endured the “testing.” I can “count it all joy” because long before any of those various trials became a reality I prepared my heart to trust that Jesus is there in my “stead” when I’m most vulnerable, being fixed and able to maintain the “fastness” of my faith without fading. Amen!