Both of my kids are sick. One has strep throat, and the other one has been put on breathing treatments as his cold has settled in his chest. When one starts crying, the other one feels bad enough to join in. One is demanding food, while the other one is throwing food on the floor. Both want Mommy to hold them. At the same time. Without the other one being held. I think I’m getting sick, too!
If I’m not careful, I know I can easily start feeling sorry for myself.
But despite all the germs disturbing my usually clean home, I somehow managed to open my Bible and take a few minutes to find some way to enjoy these moments. Enjoy two little ones with fevers? Enjoy doling out medications to my usually-healthy kids? Enjoy being stuck in the house when the sun is shining, and the park is calling? Enjoy two crying, demanding children who just want their mommy?
But wait a minute. What did James say again? “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). But how could James possibly know what I’m going through as a mom? Why should I listen to him?
“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:3).
My Bible study group has been studying II Corinthians, and it seems like God is working on helping me to find joy in my circumstances – whatever they are. In II Corinthians 11, Paul gives a list of all the trials he has been through so far. He was beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, sleepless, hungry, thirsty, ridiculed, and abandoned by his own people. Yet he persevered. He was poor, homeless, and in need of clothes. Yet he persevered.
I can’t help but feel rather small complaining about my sick children when I am sitting reading my Bible in a comfortable home with food in the pantry and clothes in my closet! I certainly haven’t endured anything compared to what Paul (or, for that matter, many fellow Christians around the world) had to endure! And then I am rebuked even further:
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Cor. 12:9-10).
But just in case I wasn’t feeling humbled enough, God took me one step further and gave me a video to watch that is being circulated on Facebook. And what was the opening verse for this video about grace? II Corinthians 12:9!
I don’t know what you are going through right now – stuck at home with sick children, waiting beside the deathbed of a loved one, drowning in a mountain of debt, or dealing with troubles in your marriage. But no matter what you are going through, you can have joy! Because God’s grace is sufficient! He will carry you through! Trust in Him. His arms are strong enough to carry you through – even, no, especially, during this difficult season!
If you need prayer, please feel free to message me! I would love to pray for you!
Now I’m off to bed because morning will come quickly, and two beautiful children will be calling out for Mama to come get them ready to face the day. And in those two beautiful faces, I will find joy.