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Count it all joy
Max Lucado writes: 'When a potter bakes a pot he checks its solidity by pulling it out of the [furnace] and thumping it. If it 'sings,' it's ready. If it 'thuds,' it's put back in. Character is also checked by thumping...Late night phone calls...grouchy teachers...burnt meals...flat tires...'you've-got-to-be-kidding' deadlines. Thumps trigger the worst in us...They aren't big enough to be a crisis, but if you get enough of them, watch out. Traffic jams...long lines...empty mailboxes...dirty clothes on the floor...Thump. Thump. Thump. How do you respond? Do you sing or do you thud?
Jesus said, 'People speak the things that are in their hearts' (Luke 6:45 NCV), and there's nothing like a good thump to reveal the true nature of a heart...it's not in momentary heroics, but in the thump-packed humdrum of day-to-day living. If you've a tendency to 'thud' more than you 'sing,' take heart. There's hope for us 'thudders.' Begin by thanking God ...not a half-hearted thank-you...but a rejoicing, jumping-for-joy, thank-you from the bottom of your heart. James says: 'Count it all joy when you fall into various trials...the testing of your faith produces patience.' God's doing the thumping...for your own good...You're going to be tested...you might as well learn from the thumps. See it as an opportunity to develop patience and persistence. Each thump helps or hurts you, depending on how you use it. Be aware of 'thump-slumps'...For all of us there are times during the week when we can anticipate an unusual amount of thumping. Handle them head on...bolster yourself with extra prayer... don't give up...and remember no thump is disastrous. All thumps work together for good when you love and obey God.