We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5: 7
On this 24th day of November, we give thanks to God for the gift of faith and trust in Him.
Have you ever experienced happiness and sorrow at the same time? As a believer in Christ, these emotions can often be intertwined more than we realize. While God gives us many reasons for joy each and every day, we also know that challenges, pain, and sadness can often accompany our blessings. During these times, how grateful we are to know that we can hold on to Him and know that He is with us, carrying us through.
I have felt both emotions for the last few weeks, and it’s a difficult thing to balance. There is so much of God’s goodness around me with family and friends; we celebrated Miles’s birthday with a party on Saturday; our Christmas tree is up in anticipation of Scott and Emily’s arrival for Thanksgiving; and we all are looking forward to our family being together at Kelly and Drue’s. The boys are so excited to know everyone is coming, including Minnie.
I am so grateful for these times and for the joy they bring, but yet in the midst of all the happiness and blessings, there is much sadness. I have been watching my dear sister, Ruth, struggle for months with health issues and the heartache of Alzheimer’s, but this past week was an especially difficult one for her, for her daughter, for her young granddaughter, and for all our extended family. She is much loved, and our hearts have been so burdened by what she is going through, as she lives with the almost constant confusion, the horrible anxiety, the deep sadness, and the ever present pain.
As you well know, situations like these are so hard anytime, but especially during the holidays. Ruth has always loved this time of year with all the preparations and time spent with family. I feel so sad that she can’t be a part of something that has always brought her so much joy. And I suppose in many ways, the rest of us not only feel sorrow, but we also feel guilt and heartache for being able to go on with our lives when she can’t.
But we’re all trying because we know God wants us to embrace life no matter what we face. He wants us to remember that He is with us during the good and the bad, and that His desire is that we trust in Him. It would be so easy to give in to the sadness, the uncertainty, and to become paralyzed by the fear of what is to come, but we are looking to our gracious and loving God for strength, mercy, and assurance. He has never let us down before and we are trusting in His love and grace. We can’t see His hand at work, but we know it is – all in His timing and in His will.
We are walking along side of Him in faith, trusting in His goodness and love. How grateful we are for the wisdom and grace to do so.
Dear God, how often we forget that you are always with us no matter what we are going through. Thank you for the assurance to trust in you, for the strength you give, and for loving us through the difficult times. May we never be too burdened to find joy in you and to appreciate our blessings. Amen