All over my area you can see oil rigs in the process of set up or tear down. In both cases, the promise of oil is definite. It seems the oil boom is on again and times will be good for everyone! In the pasture behind our house a few months ago came three large vehicles all in a row. We had felt rumbling in the house all morning but were not aware of what it was. Then we saw the trucks pull up and stop, then the rumble came. They moved 100 feet and stopped and the rumble came again. These were the seismologists taking readings. Someone thought there was something valuable underground and decided to do a little research. If conditions seems right the drillers will come and set up a new rig to drill down for the oil. Once the drilling is done, a pumper is put into place to continue to retrieve the oil and pump it to a storage facility.
I was recently reminded that the pains we face in life can be handled in a similar way. Not every pain is bad. Not every poor circumstance is awful. There are times that God allows pain in order to deepen faith. Sometimes God puts us in awkward, or painful, positions to test our resiliency. Often, we cannot see this during the trial. But, to increase our joy and deepen our faith it is a good practice to do the research and drill down for the “black gold”.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Research – All companies begin with research. The pain you are in is probably not isolated to you. Others have faced these circumstances. Others have experienced this pain. What have they done? How have they fared? Did their faith deepen? Did God speak to them? What happened? When looking for examples of others, be certain to speak further with those whom you find to be what you desire to become. If you want to be bitter, that will be easy. If you want to be better, do the research. Find those who are better as a result of the pain or poor experience. No one should blindly start drilling without having done the research.
Drill – Once a suitable site has been found a drilling company will be hired to drill a hole through the earth until it finds oil. Not all drilling sites will find oil. However, those who have done the right research are more likely to find oil at the bottom of their pipe! James says that we are to let endurance have its full effect. In other words, do not stop in the middle. What company begins to drill and stops in the middle? Other than those who go bankrupt, none. What if you drill and find nothing? Look around the area. Most companies, if they find a dry hole, will drill close in the area again because the cost of research has already been spent. Was the pain for you or for someone else? It is possible that God allowed the pain to help someone else. Are you willing to be used by God?
Pump – Now that you have found God’s hand in the process, let the joy pump into your soul. Letting endurance come to its fullness is like pumping the reservoir as long as possible. The pain you once felt because of ignorance can now be replaced with peace and joy. The circumstances you are in now can be seen in a different light and with a different perspective. It is no longer about you, but about how God is working in and through you. Let the Holy Spirit do the work to deepen your faith. Let the Holy Spirit work in you for the benefit of someone else.
Deposit – The royalty checks begin to come in at this point for the company and for those who have mineral rights on the land. You can cash your spiritual checks of joy, love, peace, and patience also. God will begin depositing these and other items into your life. Whether it is coming to terms with the movement of God in the past or being inspired about a current issue, God will bless you with His presence, power, and peace!
Drill, Baby, Drill!