In the face minor trials: Musings on how to rejoice in the Lord

It can be difficult when we face the assorted trials of life.  Currently been in the midst of a trial in the form of an intestinal virus that has lingered.  The virus has prevented me from spending time with my brother and his family. It is hard to follow God`s directive to consider it pure joy.  This test is a difficult challenge and last night clearly  reached the lowest point . 

I know the illness and trial is temporary but the hardest part is that it is getting in the way of something I want, time with family.  What I want is good and even appropriate and is prevented.  The question is, is what I want at such a high level that I cannot turn to the Lord and submit to consider it pure joy.

The fact is always these kinds of trials serve to refine us.  Now there are people who have things ongoing far more permanent and have losses far more significant than time with family.  Yet, the emotions of frustration and the felt loss is significant.  Yet, in all things God works together for the good. 

In all things our directive is to rejoice in the Lord.  Here is the thing, God is constant.  We have momentary ups and downs.  We even may have long-term losses.  God is constant through them all.  God remains faithful.  Yet, it is easy to say and hard to bring my emotions and even body into line with this truth.  It is an honest struggle and rejoicing in the Lord here is beyond my strength.  I really would prefer to spend time with family.  We do not get to see each other often.  It is also hard knowing that they have been enduring a long trial with the wife of my brother`s mother dying of breast cancer.  Yet, perhaps in all this, God has allowed illness not only in myself but my father as well, to give them some time of quiet. 

Of course that conclusion is my own mind trying to make sense out of what is going on and trying to sort out a conclusion that I can understand. Only God truly knows why this was allowed and the purposes being served for His glory.  It is hard to see, hard to understand.  Rejoicing in the Lord and resting in His peace is difficult here.  Yet, in all things I serve God and His kingdom.  It is such a time as this that I suffer discomfort and emotional loss of time with those I love. 

 The important process here is I believe to focusing on the suffering and struggles and that of which I recognize and am aware of as struggles and turn to God.  There is a step here from being self-focused and self-aware and being God-focused and God aware.  It is real easy to be caught up in the loss and the minor suffering. If I could will myself to health, I would be healthy.  Yet it is all about God.  To quote the worship song Jesus Lover of my soul, “It is not about me, as if you should do things my way. You alone are God, and I surrender to your ways.”

This is what it comes down to in such minor trials.  The act of considering it pure joy and rejoicing in the Lord are acts of surrender.  Trials always bring a confrontation of self with both real and perceived loss.  It involves a tough step of surrender in the face of self.  It is true here with me, with an intestinal virus that is causing loss.  May God be glorified in this loss.  May my brother and his family get rest even though also facing a loss of what they expected and planned to help recharge them for the difficult days ahead.

So pray for me and my family. Pray for health and peace and strenght. Ultimately pray that we each grow in our ability to walk in surrender and grow in our God focus as we turn from attention to our suffering and loss. And whether a trial to us is minor or major, in the grand scheme of God`s plans, it is all but temporary and minor.


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