Rejoice My Children Rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4
The Hebrew word, “simcha,” means to have “Joy in the most full sense.” In other words, “Be Happy!” In the book of Philippians, we find the Apostle Paul writing to the church at Philippi to, “Be Happy in the Lord!” The thing is that Paul wasn’t telling the church to “be happy” as he was sitting out somewhere on the beach with bright rays of sun shining down on his face with a cool glass of grape juice in his hand…He was telling them to, “be happy,” as he, himself, was sitting in a cold, dark, lonely prison cell facing death. Sure, it’s easy to tell someone to be happy when all around you is at peace and happiness, but can you tell someone to be happy when your cup is running over with stress! That’s exactly what Paul did.
The past few days, actually the past four years, have been stressful at times for my husband and me as we take care of his mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Two years ago, we had to admit her into a fulltime nursing home to help with her care. But, even that doesn’t completely erase our concerns, cares, and obligations to her. I continue to do her laundry at least two to three times per week. And, it is very sad watching her decline as she goes from one stage to another. This past week she decided that she doesn’t need to wear her glasses, so she hid them in a bundle of clothes. After searching for them for several days I finally found them wrapped up in a pair of pajamas. When I took them to her, she became quite defensive and insisted that she has never worn glasses her entire life and I could do with them whatever I wished but she would not wear them. So, naturally, not wanting to upset her any further, I brought them home. Since then, her behavior has continued to decline. Some days it nearly seems that it is too much to bear…So, today my husband called me from a funeral he was attending and when I answered the telephone he started singing an old Gospel song, “Rejoice My Children Rejoice!” Truthfully, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh at his attempt to “cheer” me up, or scream!
But, he was right…The Bible does tell us to, “Rejoice in the Lord.” So, I took a deep breath and said, “God, I really need your strength to continue with all of these issues involving my mother-in-law. And, after a few deep breaths, I could feel my tension leaving being replaced with JOY! I have so much to rejoice about…And, when life is taking a hit at you, we sometimes need to remember to REJOICE just like the Apostle Paul did while incarcerated in prison…
Today, you may be in need of JOY…So, as my husband reminded me today, “Rejoice My Children Rejoice for our names are recorded above…Be glad, exceedingly glad for Heaven is ours today.” Yes, my friend we have a lot to Rejoice about!
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins,