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

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be Joyful Always? Really? ALWAYS?

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?

Without exception?

Every time?

Every circumstance?

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.

Thank YOU.

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