“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

Driving past a billboard with a rolling pin on it, I thought of something I heard a cook say once: the heavier the rolling pin, the better. One with no weight to it might seem like a good idea, but it would make the baker have to work much harder to get the desired result.

Then I remembered what an aunt once told me. She had spent many years cleaning homes and, although her wealthy clients might have had the latest in lightweight irons, she still brought her own, decades-old metal model. She didn’t like the new lighter irons, she said. It made getting out the wrinkles too difficult.

We’d all like to float through life, lightweight as the breeze, wouldn’t we? But the truth is, we need a little pressure. We need some weight on us, to help get out life’s wrinkles and smooth out our rough edges. We need that pressure to get us into God’s desired shape for our lives.

So, like James, we should count it all joy. We should let the pressure placed upon us by life’s trials strengthen our faith, and do a great work in us. The weight of troubles shouldn’t break us, but change us into what God intends us to be.

A weightless life is no life at all!