Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Overwhelmed by the lingering effects of last month's cancer treatments and dumbstruck by the possibility of another surgery, I shared those fears and concerns with a friend of mine after Mass Tuesday morning. "This is so hard," I said.
I knew she'd have something redemptive to say. She's a holy soul.
"We all have challenges," she said.
I nodded. We all do. We sure do.
"I know what you are going through is hard," she said. "But try thanking God for it."
Yep, she's right. I believe it's called the 'sacrifice of praise'...when you praise God despite the circumstances.
"Once," she said, "when I was struggling with a serious health issue, I heard the Lord say to me, 'I'm preparing you.'"
She looked heavenward, adding, "I said, 'For what?'"
I'm not sure she got a response.
We looked at each other.
"We don't know what's to come," she said. "Just try thanking the Lord anyway. Trust God."
I left with a spring in my step.
Good advice for all of us.
So let's sing! Rejoice in the Lord Always! I used to play this song for my kids all the time. Now I'm playing it for me...and for you...Thanks for tuning in!
P.S. It might help to know the apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians (exhorting them to rejoice in the Lord always) while he was in prison...so you might say he really practiced what he preached!