Revue: Grace Completes

Complete, copyright 2015, Lynn Abbott Studios
“Complete,” © 2016 Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you…” ~Psalm 84:5a

© 2016 Lynn Abbott

This past spring, my garden reminded me of my mother’s early attempts to rid our family’s kitchen of some extremely determined ants.

In fact, although Mom and I tried a variety of pest control options, those itty-bitty invaders continued to plague us.

Yup.  Ants are insidious.

They are unwanted and uninvited guests.   They are life’s party crashers.

At the very least, they exasperate me.  Like the constant drip, drip of a leaky faucet, they wear me down. And soon, those inconvenient pests consume my thoughts.

In self-defense, I define boundaries; they declare war.  Their enormous battalions fill the places of those fallen.

Thus, despite my best efforts, the militant horde marches on.

Story of my life, actually…

More often than not, I stumble over the accumulation of little stuff.

And so, it occurs to me that my response to life’s unceasing irritations does more to define my days than most anything else.

Of course, God has promised, “I will be with you.”   His promise includes both the big and small obstacles that I face.

But it’s easy for me to forget God’s promise when pests plague my days.

Then, I read James’ exhortation:  “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish it work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,” (James 1:2, 3).

Consider it joy?   Quite honestly, I’d rather skip the trials. Persevering through the small stuff is tough.

For this reason, when I observed ants crawling all over my peony buds this past spring, I simply thanked Abba that those pesky ants were occupied outside.  Better the peonies than my kitchen sink.

But as I thought about it, I realized those peonies mirror my life. I have heard gardener’s tales lauding ants as a necessary aid in the peony blooming process.

True or not, those tales certainly make me think.

After all, James notes the connection between trials and mature perseverance.

Indeed.  I suspect that it all might work like ants and peonies.  Those little irritants may yet serve a beautiful purpose in our lives.

And in time, our blossom will open… Mature. Complete. Not lacking anything.