This is a repost of something I wrote over a year ago. But I was thinking about it this morning as I was struggling with feelings of bleakness and failing miserably at being joyful and thankful. I guess one of the best tests of if I am really joyful is how I react to the times there is not as much to obviously be joyful about. True confessions- this morning I failed the test. Thank you Lord for your unending love and patience in my life!
Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all
circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16
When God says always does He really mean ALWAYS?
Like ALL the time?
No matter what?
Could He possibly mean THAT?
I mean- how is that even possible. Today I woke up with the remains of a migraine that will not quite go away and that has interposed on my sleep for two nights. Was I supposed to be joyful for 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?
When 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 circumstance? 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 thing" 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 mistakes or 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 her younger sister, and thank You that I was with her for this valuable lesson.
Thank You that I do not have feel happy to BE joyful.