Hi! I'm Grace Fox, author of Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women. As a devotional writer and inspirational speaker, I help audiences learn how to relate God’s word to real life. I often include a personal anecdote to show them how I’ve learned to apply a spiritual principle. The most recent example wraps itself around James 1:2-4.
“Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything” (NLT).
This year started with a bang—in my left Achilles tendon. Partially rupturing it landed me in a knee-high cast for three months with no weight-bearing allowed. Nine days after that injury took place, my opposite knee gave out and required surgery. Three months in a wheelchair ensued. Living in a three-storey townhouse further complicated matters.
Life without the use of my legs became my faith test, and I had to choose my response. Would I grumble through the pain, insomnia, isolation, and inconvenience? Or would I apply God’s word and consider my situation an opportunity for joy?
I chose the latter while hoisting myself backwards up the stairs to my bedroom. It was the first night in my cast. I was exhausted and a tad traumatized by the injury and subsequent hours in the ER, but I could still think clearly enough to know that my immediate response was vital to my effectiveness as a disciple of Jesus and communicator of God’s word.
Choosing to embrace my circumstances as an opportunity for joy kept me from falling into self-pity. It also opened my eyes to see God’s faithfulness evidenced through friends’ kind acts, and to witness His power as He strengthened me to write and meet three book deadlines only six weeks after the initial Achilles injury. It didn’t leave me feeling happy, happy, happy as some Sunday school choruses imply believers ought to feel, but it rendered me surrendered to God’s sovereignty and eager to learn whatever lessons He wanted to teach.
My physical healing continues. As it does, I find encouragement in knowing that God wastes nothing. Learning to apply His truth to my life in this situation serves to make me more effective in leading my audience to discover how to apply truth, too.
Playing a role in others’ spiritual growth through writing and speaking is my passion. If the decision was left to me, I wouldn’t have chosen this particular process to provide fresh fodder. But the outcome, I trust, will be worth every minute.