I've been seeing articles all over facebook about 9 year old Lola who needs a bone marrow transplant to survive leukemia. It is heart wrenching to think about what this family must be going through. And then this morning I read about how our Joy is complete in the Lord. I'm convicted. If it were one of my children suffering from leukemia, would my joy be complete in the Lord? Heart check!! Is it complete in the Lord without suffering even?! I find sometimes that I am so ungrateful. The kids get out of bed for the umpteenth time and I get annoyed. Milk gets spilled all over my freshly scrubbed floor. There's a minor misunderstanding that gets blown into obvious irritability with each other. These are my sufferings... but they aren't sufferings at all and I can't even deal with those!! I don't always have a joyful, contented spirit in these very mild situations. How would I 'deal' with actual suffering. And what is my joy based on? Circumstances... or Jesus!
But I know that complete joy in the Lord is possible. Jesus has died for all of our sufferings, each and every one and no matter how big or small. The price has been paid. The sorrow of sin and death has been nailed to that cross. And we are victors with our risen Lord and Savior if we believe in Him. And eternal joy and hope is ours!!! We can face the struggles of this day and each one that lies ahead in our future because of our hope and trust in Jesus. No matter what! We can know that He is good and sovereign no matter the outcome!
I would much rather put my sorrow on that cross and live in joyful expectation than to grumble and complain. And if I should be given something that seems absolutely unbearable, I hope that I will trust in the One who made Joy available and accessible through anything I might go through.
And I hope that I don't just worry about what our little family might go through, but that I would have God's eyes and heart and see and feel with everything in me what others are going through, His family. And that I might reach out and share the hope of Jesus with them so that their joy may be complete in spite of what they're going through.
I've had this reminder/conviction before! You can read it here.