Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
As is true with many artists, Christian singer and songwriter Laura Story was not a very well-know artist early in her career. In fact, there were probably many days she wondered if she would be able to keep doing what she loved so dearly. But something crashed in on her world a few years into her young career. Her husband Martin Elvington was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and she wondered what the future would hold.
“Why didn’t you just fix it, God?…..what’s going to happen to my life…………If you’re all powerful and all loving… just fix it.”
Later after mentioning her desire to return to a normal, trial-free life, her sister responded “You know Laura, I think the detour you are on is actually the road.” Laura soon realized that spending time with [husband] Martin in the midst of this trial and test was moving her into things she didn’t have as much time for before…….she found herself in much deeper prayer and conversation with God on a daily basis through scripture and also found herself growing closer to her husband. Her heart slowly began to transform.
It was this trial, test and heart change that led to her writing a song called Blessings in 2010. In June 2011, that song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart, giving Story her first number one hit and making her one of only a handful of female Christian artists to ever reach the top of the singles chart.
And it is the refrain from that powerful song that resonates with so many people-
‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops,
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near,
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?
In our Bible study this winter, we have been spending our time reading the book of James where James is coaching up the body of Christ. And what does James tell the young Christians right out of the gate? That trials and tests are a major part of the life of a follower of Christ. As these difficulties wear us down and we continue to stay in the trial…………..something starts to happen……………as we seek Him, a steadfastness develops within us that will one day lead to glory. Jesus followed this path and we must too. There is a big question that stands before us:
Will we fight like mad to get out of the test or trial? Or
Will we trust God, will we “stay in it” and will we allow the trials (sorrows, disappointments, sacrifices) of this life to become great things in the hands of God?
The detour is the road.