My studies have given me this prompt. What does it mean to me to rejoice always?
The thought of someone rejoicing always may give the impression that a person is just walking around with his or her Christian heart on his or her sleeve, praising openly and witnessing without ceasing. That is not what it means to me necessarily. Praising and witnessing may be part of it, but only a part of it.
For me to rejoice always is for me to live my life knowing that God is in control, that my days are going to go according to His will, and that He isn’t going to give me anything that I can’t handle. Rejoicing to me is being comforted by the presence of God in my life.
Rather than an elevated outward expression, it is evident in a sense of calm. I do rejoice in knowing that God is in control, but rather than leading me to go through my days skipping and whistling tunes, that knowledge calms me.
Anyone who knows me, especially those who see me behind the bar, knows that I’m prone to occasionally break into singing and/or dancing. At times, these are nervous actions, but sometimes they aren’t, especially the singing.
The singing is often inspired by a word or phrase I hear, which reminds me of a song. There isn’t anything nervous about these outbursts; rather, my mind just works that way sometimes. Still, other times these are just nervous actions. They often are not joyous at all.
The quieter and calmer I am, the more rejoicing I am doing in my soul.
The reason I mention the work aspect is that people get the impression that something is bothering me when I’m quieter, when, actually, there’s a better chance that something is bothering me when I’m more boisterous.
Rejoicing for me is knowing that God is in charge, and knowing that God is in charge calms me. It makes me more confident of my actions because I know that all I have to do is do the best I can, and God will take care of the rest.
If you read enough of my writing over time, you’ll know that I am fond of a quote given to us by President John Adams: “Duty is our; results are Gods.” I often equate this to the sports analogy of “leaving it all on the field.”
There’s a calm that comes from knowing that, having done everything that was in my power to do, I could have done nothing else to affect a given outcome. There’s a peace that comes from knowing that God is more apt to look favorably upon someone who has given it his or her best than someone whose efforts have been tepid. I rejoice in knowing that God is in charge of the results, whatever happens is going to be according to His will.
And this is what it means for me to rejoice always, to have that calm, that serenity of knowing that if I do my part God will do His.
So, that’s that. Like I said, these thoughts came about because of a prompt in my studies, and, so being, they may be of no interest to anyone besides me. Still, it’s writing, I’m a writer, and this is where a lot of my writing winds up. So, if you take something from it, I’m pleased. If not, well, how can I worry about that? What others take from it is not in my purview. I was only duty-bound to write it. God will take it from here.
Love you, friends, and our fervent prayers are with you and yours during these trying times. I’m here if you need anything.
Hope to see you back here sometime soon.