Rejoice Always

Updated: May 23, 2021

This week, I spent a day caring for my beloved aunt, who is terminally ill. She is spending her last days at home with her favorite dog, family and hospice. The cancer has spread to most of her organs, except her brain, so she is fully aware of her need for around the clock care. She frequently apologizes for needing so much assistance and initially, that reality, broke my heart.

Throughout my day, I thought of our past memories, but at times my heart felt downcast and I questioned—“did i fully embrace her life”—“Did I love her well”?

If I tried to focus on my present task of caretaking, I felt nervous given my lack of experience in adult caretaking. I had some instructions, but no hands on experience. These thoughts were pinging back and forth, yet I was aware of their futility. Before I had a chance to tame my mental tension, I was caught up in the middle of an unexpected adult diaper change.

I suddenly felt small and vulnerable, so I humbly muttered in my heart, “Lord help me”. Immediately the familiar whisper of the living God spoke to me: “rejoice always”.

As suddenly as the words were heard, peace was with me. Christ’s compassion and love seeped gently into my being. I was filled with joy that strengthened me. I leaned into His unleashing love.

This experience will resound in my memory as a holy moment. God spoke the words and my spirit simply heard and responded.

Since my “holy moment”, I have read the below verses over and over. Lets pour our hearts into them this week. Is there a phrase or word that speaks to you. Lean into it for understanding.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4-9‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

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