I am one of those people that really tries (emphasis on try) to make things practical. This carries over into my spiritual life as well. I believe that all things in life work together for God’s glory. Though I may not understand it, He has the beginning and the end worked out. So, as I read the Word of God, I view what He says with those eyes. When I come across a passage such as I Thess. 5:16 I try to see the practicality of it. How can I truly rejoice evermore as a mother of six, pastor’s wife, tutor, homemaker, and homeschooler?
It truly isn’t an easy thing to take literally… but this week after thinking about it the last few days… I am beginning to realize that in a practical sense, He isn’t commanding us to be joyful every single moment of our lives. I believe what He is admonishing us to do is to have a heart of rejoicing…of being thankful for Him, His provision for us, and His daily blessings upon us. This we can do even if the children are out of sorts all day, the washing machine quits, and dinner burns. We can still be thankful for all of the other great blessings that He pours into our lives.
Someone recently said to me that they thought motherhood would be constantly joyful. It really isn’t possible to have that serene smile on your face 24/7, never raise your voice, and have children who always respond with respect to your every word. This is not practical joy. Those that think so have not met real life…(or maybe are just not in touch with reality.) I don’t believe that our dear Lord who loves us with an everlasting love, and who knows our hearts would expect that. In fact, His Word tells us that there is a time for laughter, a time for weeping, and He even admonishes us to “… be angry and sin not.” We as humans cannot exhibit joy in that manner on a constant basis. Children must be admonished in a firm manner (which requires that I remove my smile!!). I can’t always smile when I pay the bills and see that there just isn’t enough… even though inwardly I know (foundational JOY) that He will take care of us. I guess what I am trying to say, is that sometimes we think life should be perfect and have a fairytale ending. We need to realize that it is OK if life isn’t always a bed of roses and doesn’t have a happy ending. We can rejoice that even in that…He is in control.
So, if your day hasn’t gone that great, and you feel like you have just blown it… pick up the pieces, dust the dirt off and rejoice that you have another opportunity.
Here is a great reason to rejoice even when everything is falling apart… “Luke 10:20 … but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”