I thank my God….I pray with joy
I had my plans for my life. But one phone call changed everything.
“I have pneumonia,” my relative told me. “And I need to go into the hospital.”
A few hours later I went to her to pick up her daughter, who would stay with me as long as her mother was in the hospital. At 36, with some mental and emotional challenges, the daughter could be a challenge.
What started as treatment for pneumonia led to the discovery of cancer in two sites. All of us face an uncertain future. How long will my relative undergo treatment? How long will I be caring for her daughter? And will her daughter end up a permanent member of my household?
I started reading Philippians, thinking I needed an infusion of joy in this situation. Almost immediately, I found it.
Paul told the Philippians he thanked God for them and their faith. Uppermost in his mind was his gratitude to God for that blessing in his life. In his next sentence, he declares that he prays with joy, no matter if he is in prison or out doing the work he loves, namely spreading the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Paul’s preaching ministry was cut short when he was put in prison. My plans have been diverted by the needs of my family. God used Paul mightily even when he was in chains, because Paul embraced his circumstances as God’s will and used the time as best he could. The letter he wrote to the church in Philippi that encouraged me is just one result of his prison labors.
God will work in my own situation, no matter how my circumstances change. For that I can pray with gratitude and joy.
Lord, help me to pray with gratitude and joy in my circumstances, that I can be a faithful servant always.