First there was the rain… Early, a steady down pour and then a slow nasty drizzle. I am never thrilled about taking the big trash can to the street in a cold rain.
My wife and I drove about 40 minutes North West to a funeral. A friend’s mom, a good, godly, woman died. A very traditional service, many friends, some nice comments about the deceased, and a warning to anyone who might be there and not a Christian. But, oddly to me, no good news about Jesus. In fact, the message a non Christian would have received is that living a good life, being faithful in church, etc. will assure you of heaven.
We left the church building to be greeted by chilling winds! It seems as if the temperature had fallen at least 10 degrees during the 40 minutes we were inside.
I visited two friends in the hospital. One, damaged to the tune of two broken ribs and a punctured lung, had fallen from a ladder. Several days of rest and some unwelcomed pain and he will again be whole. His pain, and the inconvenience of a hospital bed has not dampened his enthusiasm for his ministry to prisoners and others whose addictions and destructive behavior have them at odds with society. So my friend has been appointed by God to love them and lead them to Him and recovery.
A short drive across the river to another hospital to visit another friend. This dear saint of God has battled cancer bravely for many, many months and It appears that his home going might be very near. He manages a smile, his usual posture, and thanksgiving for everything it seems. He and his wife are great examples to the rest of us who have not yet had to hear very bad news from a doctor. I love this man and really, really hate to see him go away. But, I am selfish and am being selfish for him. My head says he will soon have the better deal but my heart cries out to God to let him stay. It’s almost as if I don’t know what awaits those who are in Christ. Ahh, my faith is weak, my resolve nothing to boast of.
These days are not pleasant but they are the days of my life. So, I put one foot in front of the other and keep trusting my faithful God who has promised… even to a weakling like me, it will be better. I’ll keep going and loving those who are mourning the loss of loved ones. I’ll keep praying for the injured and sick. I’ll keep living my life with my sometimes tiny faith knowing that the Object of my tiny faith never fails.
We don’t like all of God’s promises do we? “In this world you will have trouble..” Or how about this one? “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgement.” Trouble and death are constant companions but they don’t rule my life. I have seen deaths end, it is coming… And trouble? Yea, its always hanging around, just like the weeds in my flower beds, and the aches in my joints on these cold damp days, but I know I’m just passing through N.E. Louisiana. My home is on the other side of the horizon.
How shall I respond? I choose joy! I choose thanksgiving. I choose praising God for his love and tender mercy. I choose love. I choose peace. I choose an afternoon nap before my darling has me drag stuff down from the attic, put up the Christmas tree, and I will in the same moments be reluctant, and glad to do it.
Soon this day will be history, perhaps a memory, and if so likely not one that lasts very long. What will tomorrow bring? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it will be God’s gift to me so I will try to rejoice and be glad. It will be a day of my life never to be repeated.
Thank you, Royce, for a blog post I could have written in many ways about my own life today! My family and I are beset by many troubles that have been ong0ing now for many, many months.
I, too, must hold on and rise above to call upon the love, grace, goodness and mercy of God in all I say and do.
Many blessings to you today! Dee
Dee, My hope and prayer for you is that in the middle of your troubles you have deep seated Joy.