Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice

Romans 12:14-15
New Living Translation (NLT)
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
I am doing a series of radio interviews on these Romans verses. So much to say about just two verses.  The first part of the interview focuses on verse 15: Rejoice with those who rejoice.  This always looked like such an innocent verse, filled with common sense, nothing earth shattering. But oh, the life changing content that resides in that verse.

When I was first wrestling with God and praying for breakthrough for my son (who is now 6 and is in the autistic spectrum), I began to realize that during my season of grief and mourning, I am still called to be happy when others rejoice that their children are doing well.  The same area in which I am feeling a poverty, a lack, I am called to rejoice when I see blessings befall others.  

I remember when a colleague brought her 5 day old daughter into the office.  She was peaceful and pink, beautiful in every way.  My friend said that her only worry was that the baby was sleeping through the night.  What if she wasn't getting enough food, she said.  Another colleague said, "Oh, what a good baby! What a good baby, sleeping through the night."  At the time my son was 13 months, continued with severe colic/crying and woke several times a night.  I blurted out-- "All babies are good.  Even if they don't sleep through the night." 

I realized I was going to have to make this verse from Romans real.  I was going to need to commit to rejoice wherever I saw God's goodness, even if it was in someone else's life, even if it was in an area in which I was currently grieving.  I would also have to commit to faith in the abundance of God, believing that someone else's blessing didn't take away my portion, the good things God was planning for my family.  I don't have to begrudge someone else their blessing in health, finances, relationships, etc.  I can rejoice because God's goodness is present in the land, because God's goodness is abundant and He is planning good things for my family, and because I know the blessed person is God's beloved.  He created them, desires them, and wants to be with them forever.  

If you are rejoicing, I rejoice with you!  What a good God we have.