Some people make you smile just by being around them. My little nephew is just one of the happiest babies you will ever meet. To look at him you would never know his mommy endured brutal treatments for stage 4 cancer this year. He has been shipped around to loving folks for babysitting while momma was undergoing treatment and his little applecart has been completely turned upside down quite frequently this year. But look at the smile from just a few weeks ago! Look what it did to my face, too! However, he is a baby, and babies can be blessedly oblivious.
On the flip side, sin is a very catching, infectious disease. We all arrived grumpy at church this past Lord’s day because one of us woke up that way and it spread. Thankfully, that was not the end of the tale. Repentance brings a lot of hope and joy!
Joy and gratitude are in the top ten goals I have listed for this year. Those goals have already been sorely tried this year. Part of this is because my heart just breaks for a number of friends who are suffering in various forms at this moment. Another part is that I cannot seem to find a way to climb off of our financial treadmill. So many families with chronic illness be it a spouse or child find this issue a continual challenge. Challenges will always be there. So will our faithful Friend, our risen and coming King. “My soul, why are you cast down within me?… Hope in God…who is the help of my countenance.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering…” I think I am still stuck working on the first four, hoping that He who works in me to do will and to do of His good pleasure will truly bring these to be manifest in my life. Maybe wives of chronically ill husbands have a double opportunity? We need a double portion of grace, too. We need to pray with Jacob, “LORD, I will not let you go unless you bless me.”