I recently noticed quite a few quotes from a modernized translation of the Bible called "The Message." so finally I ordered it from Amazon. Today I read James again, but in this new translation and received some more light on the subject.
First of all, since my husband and I have been walking through, and hopefully out of, a 3 + year deep valley, and the opening speaks to that perfectly:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4, The MessageSince I recently gave a sermon on the 23rd Psalm, I have been seriously considering something like the above. I can honestly say that my faith walk HAS deepened during this conglomeration of experiences. Looking at light at the end of the tunnel as imminent, I can see who I am walks into it with a more aware spiritual consciousness. Masks have dropped off. Attachment to outcomes has shriveled. Prayer life has deepened. Peace has expanded. And much more.
In my attempt and goal to be congruent - that is the same person without masks no matter where I am or with whom I am - My faith has definitely been in the open for all to see, if they are looking. I have done my best to continue to participate in life and make whatever positive differences I can. My moments of grief and of joy have been/are genuine.
I want to share one more James quote today:
Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. James 1:17-18, The MessageLight, Heavenly Light, Divine Light -- all real and important to me. I've had numerous experiences in and with That Light, moments of true Treasure, precious moments that live on in a continuous flow. Even when it is not visible to me, I know It is enfolding me, always with me, filling me, lighting the way - Lighting The Way.
The empty souls that try to fill empty lives with material things will hopefully find, or be found by, The Light. There ARE rivers of Divine Light cascading from our Father of Light right this very moment. We can turn to receive and then shine that Light.