“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”Philippians 4:4
Today’s sermon at my church was entirely on Philippians 4:4
This is a difficult time in my worldly life. My favorite Aunt is in hospice near death. And yet the Holy Spirit is with me teaching me exactly how joy in Christ can be a reason to rejoice at the same time that worldly circumstances are hard.
In all honesty I am really not even experiencing my Aunt’s passing as particularly sad. A follower of Jesus herself for decades already, I honestly feel happy for her that she is going home to be with God.
My Aunt has suffered from dementia for years, and her sight and hearing are all but gone. She has heart problems, fainting spells, and a pacemaker. Last summer she often sat in a chair in the back yard in deep conversation with a Hydrangea bush which had been a gift from her own mother (my grandmother) before she died. I believe that my Aunt has been in transit from worldly life to God’s Heavenly Kingdom for some time already. She knows where she is going and she is ready.
The hardest part for me is not being insensitive to her children, my cousins, and her sister, my Mom, who are experiencing this as a tragedy. I pray daily for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my interaction with family members who do not yet know Jesus. I don’t want to be an unwelcome preachy relative who makes their pain worse. But I also want to witness for Jesus when the opportunity presents. I trust the Holy Spirit without reservation to guide me in knowing what to say and when, and He has not failed me.
My life right now is so much the very embodiment of today’s sermon on rejoicing in the Lord always, including amidst worldly stress.
God is awesome.