“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” — James 1:2-3
Off the Post!
We are well into the NHL playoff season and there is one sound that no forward wants to hear: that “plink” as the puck, from a screaming slap shot, hits the side post and careens away from the net. To the goalie, it may be a welcome sound. For example, Vegas Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury will actually rub the post where the puck hit, as if he’s saying “thanks for the help” to the goal.
However, for the shooter, hitting the post is just missing your intended target. A few millimeters and your effort would have been rewarded with a point on the scoreboard. Does that sound familiar in your life? When have you been close, but just missed a goal? Was it the job promotion you were edged out of? The team you wanted to make didn’t select you? The test you failed by just a few points? Or the thing you tried to create and just couldn’t quite get it to work?
Life is filled with these little (or sometimes big) disappointments. The decisions you make following the failures are what define your character, and reveal your faith. When you look at the passage above from James (also see 1 Peter 1:7-9), notice that God is growing us through the disappointments. It may be hard for us to “consider it pure joy,” but perspective is the key. You need to learn to recognize that God is doing something different in this setback. He’s growing you and preparing you for something better.
For the hockey player, you don’t quit shooting just because you hit the post once, or even a bunch of times. You get the puck again and keep on trying. The next time, learn from the mistake and aim for a different spot. Eventually the puck will go in.
What was your most recent post shot? How do you need to get the rebound and try again? Is there a big failure you just can’t seem to get over? Ask God to help you see His hand in it. Ask Him to lead you toward a new goal and a learn from your mistakes.
— Jeff Chaves, JeffChaves.com
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to email@example.com.