Sunday, June 10, 2007

"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:16

Today at church, this was the verse our pastor's sermon was based on. He was speaking of Paul and his joy even in the worst of circumstances-his ability to find happiness and to continue to share the love of Christ, even while suffering in jail.

We must make sure we see the good and the joy, even in the worst of circumstances.

Paul would understand me. That was the thought I had while leaving church today. Most people do not. And, I must admit, it is even a mystery to me at times, the ability I have to feel joy in the midst of difficult circumstances. The ability to go on, to get out of bed each morning, to smile at my children, to share a laugh with Eric, to help a friend in need. To be normal. And to be normal not because I am trying so hard, but simply because that is truly how I feel. I have joy in the Lord! It is not my doing, it is the Lord's.

I have joy, even when Joe, my son, has cancer and is preparing for his stem cell in two weeks. Most people seem to find that strange. They think I must be in denial. I sometimes wonder if I am. People seem to think I should be crying and depressed every day and so filled with worry and pain that I can't go on. While I sometimes do feel those emotions, for the most part I feel utter peace. I can only point the mystery to One, Our Father in Heaven. He has helped me feel peace in every circumstance.

My peace comes from knowing that God has a plan. His plan is bigger than mine and it is much, much better than mine, even tho I may not always understand it. Even though I may not always like it. I don't know what the future holds, but I have faith that God will do what is right. My faith, strengthened since I was a child by my grandmother, mother, sisters, friends, mentors, ministers and complete strangers; my faith, gives me peace. My faith comes from God.

My prayer is that every person will reach out to God, find comfort in His presence and His peace, so that when hard times come, they will be able to say,

"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

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