It has been quite a week. Rachel and I went to another doctor’s appointment yesterday as Rachel seeks to make a decision about her upcoming surgery for breast cancer. I am finishing my time at Bethel and I feel the sadness of saying goodbye to people I care about. I am about to move to Las Vegas and see old friends which is a joy. I am trying to coordinate my move in two weeks. My son just got a job. One of our dogs is under the weather and will soon visit the veterinarian. Oh and we have had no electricity at our home for the past 38 hours because of the fire danger.
Am I stressed? Yes. I can feel it.
Am I tired? You bet I am.
Am I using this platform to complain or feel sorry for myself? You be the judge… just read to the end.
I am (my family too) are experiencing all the joys and sorrows of life all at one time whether or not we want to. (We don’t.)
I am starting to believe the old adages, “When it rains, it pours” and “having mixed emotions.”
Yet, I know this is a part of life… ups and downs, hills and valleys. If our emotional state was graphed, it would read like an EKG reading of someone’s heart.
The real question is this: Has any of this, especially the difficult stuff, caused me or Rachel to question our faith? Absolutely not.
Without Jesus, we would be like a ship without a rudder. Without the love, care and concern of others… especially our brothers and sister in Christ, we would feel all alone. We both are so grateful to be within and surrounded by the family of God. We are also thankful that our biological families are watching over us (and are also a part of God’s family too).
We know that so many people have our backs in this tumultuous time of our lives. I give thanks that Rachel is being prayed for by people all over our nation because she is on several prayer lists and our friends are scattered far and wide.
A few years ago, we spent a good part of the year at Bethel talking about biblical joy. Some of you might remember that. We used a verse from Nehemiah (Old Testament) to remind us of the importance of joy especially in difficult circumstances.
Nehemiah addressed the people of Israel when they were upset about something they heard. This is what Nehemiah said, Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Godly joy will build us. Despair will deflate us. We may not always be happy about our circumstances but our joy is connected to our faith in God. It is our trust in Christ that gives us strength and joy in these difficult days.
Like the past couple of weeks I am sure the next few weeks will be filled with both tears and laughter, because there will be both joy and sorrow. We are ready for that because of Jesus’ love and presence.
I am also reminded of the words of God found in the Old Testament book named after the prophet Isaiah. In chapter 43 God proclaims…
But now, this is what the Lord says— “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… Isaiah 43:1b-3a
Exactly what I needed to remember at this point in the Bergren family journey.
God bless you,