Do I ever have a good week?

winter sunset  I was asked this morning. “Do I ever have a good week?”  And my answer is, “Absolutely!”

I absolutely have good weeks…but not easy weeks.  I have no easy weeks at this point in my life.  And, to be honest, these past several months have been the hardest of my life in many ways. Unexpectedly so.  And from the emails and messages I receive, I know that many other single parents (and people in general) are going through challenging seasons.  If I can encourage by sharing my struggle and where God continues to bring me…back to Him…I will continue to do so.

I think often as Christians we want others to “get over it already!”  I have often thought to myself, “Shouldn’t this be easier by now?”  And I know others have felt the same way…about their lives and mine!  The reality is that my life hasn’t gotten easier, and I haven’t gotten happier about my situation.  BUT GOD has met me right where I am…right where He has me.  I have felt His leading, His provision, His peace, and His joy.

It is easy for me to harp on the one comment that is less than positive, that questions me and my walk.  But you know what?  Those comments are fine!  In fact, I appreciate them because they make me think.

I have wondered if people think I’m just a whiny person…I have wondered how I have become such an Eeyore, when I’ve always been such a Tigger.  Life can change us a little bit…or a lot.  Deep down I know I’m still a Tigger. 🙂  I’m growing and maturing and that’s a good thing…the process isn’t fast or without issues…and maybe that’s no fun at times to live (or read about).

But I feel like God has given me a great idea…at least I hope so!

In fact, this morning I planned on blogging about my new idea!  I’ve been praying about it and I’m so excited!  It seems rather presumptuous of me and I feel funny saying this but I’m going to write everyday and share what God is showing me in my quiet time.  It is not that I think I’m some great spiritual woman who has tons of wisdom to share, but I know I need accountability and I pray God will use me to encourage someone, even if it is just one day a month.

I can’t wait to see where God takes me…takes us!

I was actually thinking how appropriate for a single parent to be starting a new year’s devotional on February 22nd!  Only 53 days late! LOL!

So today I was thinking about rejoicing.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always.  1 Thessalonians 5:16

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.  Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, in sleepless nights and slumber; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as important, known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich, having nothing, and yet possessing everything. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

I decided to look up some of the verses about rejoicing.  I was immediately struck by 2 Corinthians 6:3-10…I know I have read that verse before but it seemed completely new to me today.  Like I’d never read it before.

There is so much to it.

First of all I want to figure out what commend means…and to whom am I commending myself…what does that look like?

John MacArthur says that commend means, “to introduce with the intention of proving oneself.”   And Paul then goes on to present the reasons that he can commend himself.

1.  Because of his patient endurance in suffering

2. The integrity of his ministry based on God’s righteousness given through the Holy Spirit.

One is about Paul’s response to life and the other about God’s provision for life.

And those two things are great ways to start off the year – even if we are a bit late in the starting.

I wish I could say that I was more like Paul in his patient endurance in suffering…unfortunately I am not.  I’m probably more like a little fussy 2 year old…I’m the stomping my feet sufferer.  The weeping sufferer.  The sorrowful sufferer.  BUT God is helping me daily.  I have moments of patience and even patient endurance!

Seriously, how do I respond to this life?  How did Paul?

Paul didn’t ignore his sufferings – he pointed them out fairly often.  He opened up about what was challenging him…about what he struggled with…and how he prayed about it.  PLEASE KNOW THAT I DO NOT CONSIDER MYSELF ANYTHING LIKE PAUL…I’m so NOT Paul.  I will not be referring to myself as Paulette.  I wish I could.  BUT I am learning from his example.

God has allowed this difficult life for a reason, and maybe that reason is to share with others how hard it is, but even more importantly what God is revealing to me through it all.  I can attest to God’s strength in my weakness and God’s joy in my sorrow and about a hundred other things God gives me.

I hope you will walk this journey with me…learning to rejoice always, among many other things!

And I’m excited to delve into these verses and many others with you!

I hope that we can grow together in wisdom, encourage one another through our struggles, and rejoice together always!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Sue,

    It’s been a while since I commented on your blog, or even wrote on mine! 🙂 I am starting to get back to it again. Jesus never promised we would have it easy in this world, and indeed warned us it was going to be tough! Lots of trials and pain, and there would be things in life He would not remove but we would have to endure. We trust that God does this for our benefit…a benefit we may not see until Heaven. Be encouraged, and stay strong! As a single parent, I am exhausted most of the time. My family live in Fredericksburg VA, and I live in North Carolina – so I don’t have a lot of support with the kids. I don’t think many people understand how exhausting a life this can be, and to truly be joyful, I believe, requires some measure of rest! 🙂 I was also more of a Tigger than an Eyore, and I still am – when I am not overwhelmed! I also started a one year devotional with my daughter (in February!) – I just could not find the time to start on it until then. I would consider you like Paul, without hesitation. 🙂 Praying God will bless you with strength to endure, and a little rest to rejoice! Dan

  2. I read in a book about an exploration about persecuted Christians around the globe ( in the book The Insanity of God) that the author asked a persecuted pastor about preparing for persecution. The pastor took him to his living room and looking out a window ask if Nate ever gets his sons up early in the morning, while it is yet dark so that they can see the sun rise. And if he has to do that frequently so they know that the sun will always rise. What a foolish question. The sun always rises. The pastor says that so too persecution always comes.
    I have thought about it a lot. I know that it is true. I know that it is true here too. Our persecutions are not death or imprisonment, they are deceptions, like there is a time of being over it or through it. Like the goal is to have life on autopilot, nice and neat.

    A bible teacher once asked about Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

    His thought was that our trials and hardships are being watched by people who need good news. I know that was how I came to faith in Jesus.

    But I think there is more. In the western church, we look at faith as something we need on rare occasions and for short durations for big things. I think that is another deception. I believe that God’s intent is to trust Him every day, just like the sun coming up.

    You are right. There are plenty of things to rejoice about. Some of them may even have painful parts. But we can turn our faces and smile at Him, and feel the warmth of His smile back at us.

    And one Christmassy trivia that fits with this is, who were the people who first recognized Jesus without being directed to where He was.

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