As a child, I loved singing in Children’s choir. I remember belting out the tunes to the top of my lungs. So delighted and completely carefree. Those were the days…
One of my personal favorites was Rejoice! Many of you may recall this simple little song from scripture in Philippians chapter 4—
“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!”
Easy to sing then, hard to practice now.
Scripture commands us to praise Him, thank Him, and rejoice in Him always, in anything, in every situation. Some situations are easier than others aren’t they?
Hard to close your eyes and send up a heartfelt “thank you Father” when you lose your job and find yourself suddely unemployed.
Extremely difficult to exhibit a humble and grateful spirit when you are struggling through a recently diagnosed illness. Each day is more daunting than the one before it.
Feels impossible to rejoice when your heart is breaking over the loss of a loved one.
I find myself in one of those seasons, dear ones. We moved my sweet Nana into a nursing home this past weekend, and I have shed my share of tears, have shared in a few sleepless nights, and have agonized over the changes that will continue to play out in our lives as we all adjust.
After 67 years of loving marriage and 6+ years of constant care, my sweet granddad is just not physically or emotionally able to shoulder the burder of full-time caregiver. And perhaps that is the hardest part of all of this… watching him, listening to him, bearing the burden alongside him. It is truly heartbreaking. I have seen true and selfless love personified through his vigilant care of here these last few years.
While sharing these circumstances with a friend earlier this week, she hugged me and then encouraged me to practice a heart of thankfulness. To exhibit a heart full of joy and living in light of the rejoicing spirit He placed inside us, as His children.
Even though that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, He knew it was exactly what I needed to be reminded of.
Throughout the next coming days, He brought a few scriptures to my mind…
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” —Psalm 13:5
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” —Psalm 28:7
Yes… these messages from my Father were anything but subtle.
He reminded me of his unfailing love, the need to praise Him and give Him thanks in all circumstances, that He is where my strength and help come, and that my heart is His and trusts in Him. Through this hardship, I want it to be said of me and my family that our “hearts leap for joy and we will give thanks to Him in song!”
Oh God, May that be said of me.
May this trial, and all those yet to come, bring you glory. May we always practice a heart of thankfulness and rejoice in your unfailing love and steadfast promises. You have promised to never leave or forsake us. And that is a promise to live in light of.