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  • Shawn Thornton

What Would You Tell Your Future Self?

Saturday - January 2nd

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 1:12-18


Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial.

James 1:12a

Governor Newsom extended the Stay-At-Home order for Southern California this week. Due to the number of COVID-19 cases, SoCal will remain under this extensive lockdown for at least another three weeks. Much of the United States has been under some type of stay-at-home order or another. Many families have felt the weight of being under these restrictions, particularly during this holiday season.

In a piece in the New York Times on Wednesday of this week, Julie Cho wrote about how her 12-year-old daughter, Audrey, chose to cope with the stress of the ongoing pandemic. In the piece titled, "A 12-Year-Old's Letter to Her Post-Pandemic Self," Cho writes about a letter Audrey wrote to her future self expressing her frustration with the pandemic. You can see the note in Audrey's own handwriting and read the complete letter at the bottom of this page.

I love how Audrey tells her future, post-pandemic self to read the letter at the turn of each New Year. She does not want to forget how much she lost during the pandemic. She expresses how much she misses being with friends in school, hugging her grandparents, and being out of the house around others.

Audrey tells her future self not to take for granted the little blessings of life and to find joy in her circumstances no matter what they are. How sweet and mentally healthy it is for a young girl to be under the pressures of a pandemic and its effects and maintain such a solid perspective!

The first twelve verses of James chapter one emphasize the importance of perseverance or endurance during stressful times. Verses three, four, and twelve all use the Greek word hupo-ménō for the concept of persevering and enduring. This word, made of two parts, means "to remain under."

James wants us to understand what Audrey captured in her letter to her future self. We must maintain a proper perspective while we remain under life's challenging circumstances. James emphasizes coping well while living under stressful and intense challenges.

As we walk with God, His Word and His Spirit will give us a healthy view of our trials. That perspective from above will provide us with the ability to endure. Our joy or happiness depends entirely on our perspective, not our circumstances. James keeps it very simple. "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial" (James 1:12a).

After reading Audrey's letter to her future self, what would you write to your future self? What would you list as the challenges you had to remain under during this season of the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want your future self to know at the start of each new year? Maybe writing your future self a short letter would help you gain a healthy perspective of what you are dealing with right now.

As we walk with God, we gain a healthy perspective enabling us to persevere (remain under tough stuff) with joy!


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