While walking the track at the gym, I noticed the writing on a woman’s t-shirt: “I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” Yes, where better than the gym to sweat, I thought to myself. But it also made me think of my apartment, a place I would rather not perspire, for the most part. For some nonsensical reason, our air conditioning ceased being a provider of comforting cool air. Of course those who’ve had children know the increased irritability when you’re hot. Okay, it’s not just the children! Did I mention its July with temperatures reaching the high 90’s? I’m not new to this development for we experienced the fragility of air conditioners during our parsonage life in Louisiana and Kansas. Thankfully, Kansas had a basement that stayed relatively cool. In fact, I recall to mind whole summers of the perspiration beaded up on my top lip while we survived seminary life living in a two bedroom apartment with only a window unit in the living room that only ran in the evenings and while we slept. Yes, it was Indiana. But, Indiana can still get hot in the summer time, not to mention I was very pregnant the summers of 1983 and 1985!
Those days are long gone.
But as I read that woman’s t-shirt at the gym, a desire to sparkle instead of wilt swept over me. And a thought provoking question by Gwen Smith, I had read recently, popped in my head: “What would it look like for you and [me] to hold firmly to the Word of Life . . . to sparkle instead of spew?” I began thinking for me to sparkle instead of spew in this heat requires the Word of Life to actually fan me! On the contrary, God’s Word commands you and me to count it ALL joy when we encounter various trials, “knowing that the testing of [our] faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that [we] may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4. And just like Abraham, enduring the test (Genesis 22), not for the sake of failure, but to prove the quality of his character and relationship with his God, “the friend of God” (James 2:23) passed His test! I am thoroughly convinced that the Lord has provided a way for me to know how much sparkle capacity I possess.