"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice". – Philippians 4:4
A young mother was a member of a panel I was leading on attitude and healing one Sunday for our evening service three years ago. Her 10-year-old son had suffered a head injury in a car accident that also involved her husband. As she retold the story, my jaw dropped when she said the first thing she did on the way to the hospital was to thank God for His goodness and mercy. Even in this crisis, joy in the Lord could be found. (Today that young man has fully recovered and is an active eighth-grader.)
In 1991, a much older mother quoted the above scripture in a television interview. Her adult son had been held hostage along with others for six years in Iran by a radical Islamist group. It seemed that negotiations for their release were going to fall through. However, in a few days, the media had the breaking news of the hostages’ release.
These experiences are in stark contrast to the joys normally found during Advent: gathering of family and friends, sharing of gifts, cantatas and pageants, churches and homes decorated in their finest, the lighting of Advent candles and the joy of celebrating a very special birth. The lesson learned from the prayers of these women is to find joy in all of life’s experiences.
Father, thank you for the joy of remembering our Savior’s birth. Especially, help us to rejoice in you in every experience of our lives and to know that you are with us always. Amen.
Trinity UMC (Columbia)
South Central District