Taking exams in grad school was always stressful, but not as stressful as defending my answers. Psychology tends to be subjective and if the professor did not see my point, it was wrong. I hated that she had so much power, using her opinion as a litmus test to grade papers. After the first few weeks of class, I would learn how the professor processed things and would tailor my answers accordingly knowing I could not change her mind. Regardless of my rationale, the professor had the final decision.
Life is like that. When we keep making the same mistakes, regardless of our rationale, we will fail to be promoted to the next level. After all, if we cannot manage what skills, talents, resources we have, why would a loving Father give us more? If your child spends her lunch money on candy, are you going to entrust her with a fifty-dollar bill?
Christianity involves regular sacrifice and suffering, as evidenced by Jesus’ time on earth. Scripture tells us that suffering and afflictions will be compensated one day. I use to think I was in for big time rewards having a handful of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Crohn’s Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder, and clinical depression. But I was missing a crucial part of the equation. What matters is how we face our afflictions and what we do with them. Afflictions are part of life, they cannot be avoided. Though we have no control as to whether we face afflictions and suffering, we can control how we respond to them. Do we learn from our mistakes? Do we get to know how God works (through studying His Word) and tailor our answers aka responses accordingly? That is the way we should respond to tests and trials in life, by thinking, behaving, and serving like Christ. Matthew Henry’s Commentary, referencing James 1
, explains perfectly;
"A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions."
Shelly is a 30 something year old licensed therapist with cerebral palsy who is transitioning onto a whole new path in her life. As someone who was never limited by her disability, through recent declines in her health and abilities, God is humbling her despite her stubborn resistance. She is closer to Jesus than she ever has been as He carries her with His strength, protects her with His armor, and empowers her with His Spirit.She uses her writing and speaking gifts to fulfill her ultimate purpose of bringing glory to God through her life.