.:Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:.
The house that Jason and I had been renting was sold recently. The closing was last Friday and the new owners wanted to get in on Saturday which meant we were moving throughout the week. It was a looooong week. We moved into a smaller place and had to get a storage unit. So, as we were packing we had to figure out what needed to go to the storage unit and what needed to go to the apartment. We packed a little bit and moved a little bit each night. That really drug things out. Then, on Thursday night I learned that my dads Uncle Joe had passed away that morning. Friday morning I got a call from my mom letting me know that her Aunt Ellen had also passed away on Thursday. Friday afternoon I found out that a friend from church, who had to have an emergency c-section earlier in the week, lost her precious newborn daughter. It was, by the world's standards, a terrible, horrible, no good very bad week.
We recently started going through the book of Philippians in church. I am really loving the series. Whenever I started to feel a little overwhelmed this week I would think about what we've been learning in church and that brought me back to a right perspective. Two things that we (I) often let hinder our joy are sour relationships with others and circumstances.
One of my college professors used to say, "To live above with saints we love now that would be such glory. To live below with saints we know, now that's another story."
While that's a humorous way of putting it if there is a sour relationship in your life that can really bring you down.
In Philippians 1:3 Paul states, "I thank my God everytime I remember you". That is really amazing. Too often I take the people who are in my life for granted. I need to be more grateful for the good in people.
In Philippians 1:15-18 Paul talks of a sitution where some people where preaching Christ out of "envy and rivalry" while others were preaching out of goodwill. In the end he says, "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice".
Our pastor encouraged us to "Remember the Best and Forget the Rest". This isn't to say that we should ignore sin in people's lives but we should discern between what is trivial and what is significant. We can't let every negative thing become a pet peeve. 1 Corinthian 13:5 says, "Love keeps no record of wrongs". I know that all too often I keep a record of wrongs and am not being loving. I can't control what other people do but I can control my response.
I often find that if I focus on the bad qualities I see in someone else then it taints my entire view of that person. I start to become suspicious of their motives even if they are doing something good. I think one of the main ways that Satan tries to hinder the gospel is to cause division in the church.
On sunday morning I was reading some scriptures and came upon John 16:33 which says, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. It was just what I needed to hear. About an hour later it was reaffirmed when my Pastor opened his message with this verse. I love when that happens.
Philippians 1:12 states, "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel".
Throughout the course of his life Paul was beaten, flogged, stoned and jailed many times. If anyone had cause to complain it was him. But instead his response is to rejoice because the gospel has been furthered.
In Philippians 1:13 we learn some of the ways that the gospel was futhered: "...it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear".
Because Paul was imprisoned:
1: The Roman guards were hearing about Christ.
2: Others were encouraged to speak more boldly about Christ.
3: We have the four prison epistles in our canon.
We might not know why something has happened but we do know that the scriptures tell us in Romans 8:28 that "all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose".
There is a lot of pain and suffering in this world. I am thankful that I can rest in the fact that God is in control. I am thankful that in the midst of trying circumstances I can still be joyful knowing that God does not make mistakes.
Please pray for my friends Mia and Shaun who lost their precious baby girl.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. .Psalm 46.1.