Consider It Pure Joy

“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. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and    complete, not lacking anything.”

{James 1:2-4}

Even though I wouldn’t call any week that we’ve been here easy (because no entire week in life…no matter where you live or what you do…is entirely easy), this past week life gave us a run for our money. Without going into detail, the following things went wrong:

  1. Our dryer belt broke…
  2. …which we discovered because it burned our bedspread.
  3. Our SIM card in our phone stopped working.
  4. The car we’d owned for 5 days began leaking anti-freeze.
  5. We realized our car was leaking anti-freeze right after we’d missed the bus we would need to take to church, and we couldn’t call anyone to give us a ride or call a tow truck for the car because we didn’t have a working phone.
  6. On Monday James left his computer on his desk and when he came back it was on the floor and the screen looks like shattered glass. We’re still not really sure what happened.

So, it was a long week. Honestly, we’ve been able to fix the dryer, the phone, and the car for relatively little money for what it could’ve cost. (We still haven’t been able to take in James’s computer because we just got our car back last night.) And we really weren’t upset about the money. None of those things are essentials and we can take our time in fixing them if we need to.

It was just so discouraging. With the stresses of work, it was so nice to come home and pull ourselves together for the next day. But when home became a place where we were constantly having to fix things and try to coordinate rides to fix things or buy parts, it definitely drained us. So often I feel like I could fall apart, but by God’s grace and because of your prayers I always find a way. So it was overwhelming to have “stuff” falling apart on us too.

Then, this afternoon we were informed that our after school tutoring program at La California School is officially on hold until further notice. Apparently everything was going well and communication was happening, and today we hit a wall. All we know is that the school had a bad experience with a tutoring program in the past that we were just informed of today, and as of right now they have completely cut off communication with us. The director of our school even went over to their school this morning to try to discuss things, and La California’s director refused to see her. So, please pray as we have been very abruptly informed of this and we were supposed to begin tutoring this Wednesday. We were (and are) both excited to begin serving this community alongside our students and we are feeling frustrated and sad about this road block.

In the midst of all of this, my mom sent me an email. “We [my mom and sister] were both saying that you must be doing something amazing because you are obviously under attack. So even if it doesn’t feel amazing, the proof is in the trials that you are facing over and over again…I pray that those of us who love you and are supporting you will have your back as we stay on our knees in prayer.” The sad thing is, it hadn’t even occurred to me that that may be the reason for these trials. I think so often I feel like I am not good at my job…I am still learning how to be a preschool teacher and so much of my job feels like trial and error. But I am doing my best to love these kids and show them Jesus each day. And that makes Satan mad. Even if I don’t always feel successful, he is so mad that I am trying in the first place. I remember a sermon (by Ryan Rummage) that I heard in high school that talked about Satan knowing my name. Ryan talked about Satan not knowing the names of the people who are not a threat to him; he knows the names of the ones who are fighting against him, seeking to glorify God, with all of their being. I want him to know my name. I am still struggling to “consider it pure joy,” but I am learning that my efforts and not just the results of my efforts matter. So please continue to pray for me as I learn to consider it pure joy.

We ask for prayers for an upcoming opportunity as well. The Bible teacher at school appreciated the devotional that James and I gave at Staff Devotional and has asked us to share at High School Chapel on November 14th. Pray that the students would be open and that God would once again give James and I His words (in both English and Spanish 🙂 ).


10 thoughts on “Consider It Pure Joy

  1. Sorry that you all have had these difficulties but your Mom gave wise advice! Besides, I think you learn so much when things to not go as smooth. If nothing else you learn to appreciate the times that things are good!

  2. Savanna, so sorry to read of these obstacles to your work. Remember God knows your name, too. He knows what he has given you to do and he knows what he has given you to do it. He does not expect more than what he enables and he will never leave or forsake you. Rest in Him and know that you are secure in His love. You and James are in our thoughts and prayers. Love in Jesus,
    Edward and Sara Faye

  3. Satan isn’t striking because you are weak, but He is trying hard because he knows you are getting ready to be very strong.

  4. Mom and Jennifer spoke truth. Truth is brighter and stronger than any darkness. Continue to bring each detail of your day into His Light and watch… “Taste and see that The Lord is good”! ( ‘taste’… take Him in, digest and be nourished by Him). You two are our heros holding His banner high!!

  5. We live in the context of a broken world among broken people and sometimes even our dryers and sim cards remind us of it. But the effort that you and James continue to make toward advancing a Kingdom aimed at making all things new is an inspiration and testimony to all of us who watch from far off. Even in your own brokenness our God has chosen to do mighty things that are beyond you and He is also providing reminders that you absolutely cannot do it without Him. But WITH Him…
    “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us…”

    Don’t give up!! Jennifer and I love you and James immensely.

  6. Savannah and James. Thank you for being so courageous in serving, and sharing your deepest anxieties. Yes, Satan does know your name and is trying to scare you into feeling defeated. He is using people and things to force you out. But Christ knows his name and all of his tricks and has already defeated him. Through the power of the blood of Christ, the body of Christ can all hold you two up and say “Satan be gone from them and that place”.

  7. Our Lord God promises to walk with you. Thanks for sharing with such a humble spirit. You reminded me today that we cannot plan for tomorrow. We take one day at a time. Grace and peace.

  8. Savanna – thanks for the sweet reminder of how we should all look at trials. You both are an inspiration to many & I hope you feel lifted up by many who love you both!

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