...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be joyful always? Really? ALWAYS?

Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.     -- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-

When God say always does He really mean ALWAYS?  Like ALL the time?  No matter what? Without exception?  Every time?  Every circumstance?  Could He possible mean THAT?
I mean- how is that even possible.  Today I woke up with the remain of a migraine that will not quite go away that has interposed on my sleep for two nights.  Was I supposed to joyful with THAT?
This afternoon I was ready to strangle someone I love very much.  Someone I have cared and nurtured for many years.  Was I supposed to be joyful THEN?
When I got home a car wouldn't start and we had to jump it.  Was I supposed to be joyful THEN?
Then I finally got inside, out of the cold wind (was I supposed to be joyful when I was cold?) and was met at the door with a "We have something to tell you" and the look from the supervising sibling that communicated that serious parental intervention was required.  Then? Was I supposed to be joyful THEN?
Yes. Really!  I was.  Supposed to be that is.  I wasn't.  Joyful I mean.  How could God expect me to feel joy in all these circumstances?  Uh-  well-  I guess He didn't command me to feel anything.  He really just commanded me to BE something and He was gracious enough to tell me how.
Praying continually. Being thankful.  If I am supposed to be praying continually then it must mean that I am going to need a lot more of God and a lot less of me in order to be joyful.
And if I am "giving thanks in all things" I am going to be awfully busy.  In fact I will have little time left over for feeling sorry for myself or feeling angry at a mistake or feeling envious of another's abundance.
So I think I better have a "do over" today- Thank you Lord for the headache: thank You that I have to slow down, and for medicine that can work, and family that cares that I am in pain.  Thank you Lord for the mistake of my child: thank You for the opportunity for a lesson to be learned, and thank You for ready solutions, and thank you for the opportunity I will have to apologize when he gets home, and thank You for love that covers a multitude of sins.  Thank You Lord for a car with a bad battery: 
thank You for a responsible son who doesn't expect me to fix everything for him, and thank You for jumper cables, and thank You for a car at all and that it still runs after 180,000 miles.  Thank You for the cold wind: I like sweaters.  Thank you Lord for my young child and her sins: thank You for the chance to share how You hate lies, and thank You that You hate lies, and thank You for creative ideas, and thank You for a big sister who cares for their younger sister, and thank You that I was with her for this valuable lesson.
Thank You that I do not have to feel happy to BE joyful.  Thank YOU.


  1. I am practicing being thankful that blogspot is acting weird and wrapping my words around. One more thing to be thankful for!

  2. I am thankful that your blogspot wrapped your words because it really made me slow down and read what you wrote more carefully. It wasn't possible to skim, so I had to read every sentence twice to understand what it said, thus allowing time for the truth of your words to sink in.

    I am also thankful for wiser, older cousins who love me and take the time to write these lessons or discuss them at Cousins' Time.

  3. Yes, we have much to be thankful for! Thanks for sharing that reminder!

  4. Made me think of "Growly Grump" on our frig growing up. Thanks for the reminder to truly find the joy in all things.
    Love you, Marilyn