Consider it Pure Joy…

I was listening to the radio today and heard a commercial for “I am Second”.  The commercial was talking about a recent interview with ice skater and Olympic gold medalist, Scott Hamilton.  It intrigued me so much, I just had to listen to the entire interview.

Scott spoke having a mysterious childhood disease which kept him from growing (he is now 5’4″) and how that battle led to him skating.  He spoke of his battle with testicular cancer.  He spoke of being introduced to the church by his wife and becoming a father.  And then he spoke of learning he had a brain tumor.  And what’s more?  He had the brain tumor since birth.  It was what had caused him to not grow and what ultimately led him to ice skating.

Can you imagine?  Scott Hamilton, US Olympic and World Figure Skating Hall of Famer, was brought to ice skating by a brain tumor he was born with.

“Who would I be without a brain tumor?”- Scott Hamilton

Scott chose to look at brain tumor as the “greatest gift I could have gotten because it made everything else possible.”  Scott ended his interview by saying, “The only true disability in life is a bad attitude.”

It got me thinking.  It was a great gift to be able to see the hands of our creator on the story of your life.  How many people have struggles and don’t see– or even refuse to see– God’s plan in their journey?  And if we could see His hands moving, would it change our attitude toward our situation?

Can you imagine?  You are late for work.  Nothing seems to be going right as you are trying hard to get out the door.  Once behind the wheel, you are slowed by school buses, slow tractors, or “Sunday drivers” who have no idea just how late you are.  You hit every stop light wrong.  You get stopped by a train.  Have you been there?  No matter what it is that has slowed you down and raised your stress level, I think we can all relate to the frustration.

Now imagine the hands of our Father as He turns the light red, lowers the cross-bar at the train tracks, or causes the precious feet of school children to walk ever-so-slowly to climb on their bus.  He knows there is a drunk driver crossing Main Street or a distracted text-er who will come into your path.  He knows as you enter the door 5 minutes late you will avoid the temptation of doughnuts in the work room and your blood sugar will remain normal for that day.  Whatever is awaiting us, He knows… and He is orchestrating the universe for your protection.

Now, I am not saying that every time you are stuck behind a school bus or stopped by a train that the Lord is saving you from some sort of peril… but I can not say He isn’t, either.  What I am saying is that Scott Hamilton had the amazing privilege of seeing how God had used his trials to make possible all of his greatest joys.  Most of us do not get to see that in our own lives.  How different would our lives be if we looked at our trials differently?  What could be different if we had different attitudes when we face our trials?

James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds.  Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  This joy is not an emotion.  No one expects you to go skipping through fields of daisies when you are facing bankruptcy, divorce, or cancer.  It’s a faith commitment.  When you face trials with joy, it means Jesus has such a firm grip on your life. He lived for you, He died for you, and He rose for you, and this trial will not have the final word in your life.  Jesus is your identity.  Jesus is your joy.  Trials are just a part of your journey that bring you closer to your Creator.

Do you have the faith to trust Him in the good times and the bad?  Are you willing to accept the faith commitment and experience the awesome joy that comes from having a relationship with the Almighty?

To see Scott’s white chair interview, click here.




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