"We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him . . ." Romans 8:28 (GNT).
prepared to write this year's Advent devotional on "Sharing Joy,"
it's exactly six years since my husband, Bob, fell and sustained a brain injury.
This has been a treacherous journey. However, there have been
This has been a treacherous journey. However, there have beenmany undeniable blessings along the way. I've discovered that life is not a series of peaks and valleys; rather it is parallel paths of pain and joy.
Sometimes joy is wrapped in happiness.
Consider the joy of Mary upon receiving the news that she would give birth to
Messiah, or the joyful message of the angels to the shepherds. Yet, when Jesus
endured the cross, he did so "for the joy set before him" Hebrews
12:2. He saw beyond his pain and knew there was a greater purpose for his
suffering—to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21) . I wonder, was Mary's happiness tempered
by the babe's mission?
. I wonder, was Mary's happiness tempered by the babe's mission?
Joy is a hallmark of Christian
fruitfulness. James gives us a clue as to how this fruit is cultivated, "Consider it pure joy whenever you
face trials of many kinds . . . the testing of your faith produces perseverance
. . . so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" James
It would be easy to fall into despair
over my husband's injury. Yet, we have been supernaturally sustained these past six
years—physically, emotionally, and
spiritually—God has provided for us and
helped us persevere by his Spirit and his people. There is joy in knowing we are
Dear Lord, when we face the trials of life, help us recall the ways you have already worked for our good. Help us remember your blessings with joyful hearts this Advent season.
Copyright 2019 Sarah Keith
Photo credit: Preslie Hirsch- Unsplash.com
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