I used to read Bible verses like 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 which says “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…” and think “How in the world would that be possible?”
Rejoice is defined as to “feel or show great joy or delight.” Another definition says it’s “to feel joy or great delight.”
Not just a little delight… Great delight.
That’s what it says. It’s always sounded like a tall order to me.
I mean, I found ways to thank God and rejoice when my late husband was sick - little silver linings - but the rejoicing never happened because of the hardship (cancer). Instead it was praising Him for the good things that happened around the challenge. Like “thank you Lord for incredible neighbors who keep mowing our lawn” and “thank you God for the people who’ve been bringing meals.” It was only after I found healing through a real relationship with our Creator that I found myself able to thank Him for the barren wasteland of grief and the hardship of widowhood - because it was what ultimately brought me to Him. But that gratitude didn’t come during the roughest bits, I started experiencing sprinkles of it as I clawed my way out of the pit.
So, what does rejoicing look like in the MIDST of hardship? Is it actually truly possible, I wondered. When you literally have no idea which way things will go? Previous to this house, in fact, I’m not sure I remember another time that I’ve been able to rejoice when I’m in the midst of the hard.
A few weeks ago, I wasn’t really handling the stress of it that well. As a matter of fact, I had a persistent eye twitch for about a week. But now I can say with certainty: I’m at peace, JOY-filled even in the midst of it. (And, we truly are still very much in the midst of it.)
I don’t really feel stressed. And I’m not in denial. I just decided to get serious.
Do I really believe God is who He says He is?
Do I really believe He’s in charge?
Once I decided an emphatic YES was the answer to both of these questions and truly started trusting in and praising God for these hardships - my eye twitch went away. What d’ya know?!
We are determined to work like it’s all up to us, pray like it’s all up to God. And let me tell you, it’s so much better than working hard and then worrying if its gonna work, right?
When we bought this house, we figured we were getting a cosmetic fixer upper. 15 years old. That’s not an old house, right? That’s like a teenager. And now that I am in my mid-thirties, teenagers look like actual babies to me. So… my house is basically a baby, right?
So I thought…
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