Sustaining Joy

Stressful situations call for a realistic appraisal, a thoughtful weighing of options, a plan of action and, in most cases, a quick, confident response.  That’s known as quality care. But…something in us calls us to more than efficiency or excellence. Something not so easily defined. We seek a quality of the heart that brings a special grace to the everyday demands of caring. Grace not of our own making. Grace that is all gift. Un-meritted. GOD given. Freely.

That grace begins in a thankful heart.  A heart that rejoices. Not in the situation. Situations, after all, may be dark and demanding. “My brothers and sisters”, the apostle Paul writes, “Rejoice in the LORD”. (Philippians 3:1)  Draw on his insight and his resources. Later in the same letter he makes that message even stronger: “Rejoice in the LORD always.” Then, for those whose hearts may be hard of hearing he insists, “I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)  And lest we argue that Paul doesn’t understand the stress of our situation, his call to rejoicing was written in a Roman prison.

This day, good day or bad, “is the day that the LORD has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Rev. 19:7)

Prayer – No matter what the situation, O LORD, teach me to rejoice in your presence and power. Amen

Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (, copyright 2017

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