Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
I ran into this verse again on Friday, and it brought back a flood of memories from late 2008 and early 2009. To say that was a hard season would be an understatement. God laid this verse on my life last November, and I clung desperately to its promises of redemptive pain for the next six months or so.
As I look back on those trials, I can say with confidence that the testing of my faith developed perseverance and that God stretched and grew me in maturity. Honestly I wouldn't do it again, but I'm glad for what I've gained. I think we've made a difference in our time here in Peru, but the biggest difference is the one God made in me.