As painful as this time is, you will one day see the reason for it. Not cruel testing but tender preparation for the wonderful future God has in store. Go forward. This is truly the beginning of a new season. Joy. Joy. Joy.
Two weeks into this new season it is safe to say things are beginning to look a lot brighter.
Because some of you have been wondering… It is, at last, appropriate to say a few words about the reasons why CCB has been silent for the past several months.
Late last summer we embarked on a project – a part-time project, as volunteers – that we believed was going to be long term…like forever-after, long-term. Within a month we went from part-time to full-time; from consultation to operation; from observing on the sidelines to swimming in the deep end, still as volunteers but right in the thick of things.
Over the next couple of months – right through the Holidays – we allowed ourselves to be drawn farther and farther into the lives and occupations of our new associates. Our goal was – make a difference! We could see subtle changes that indicated we could make a dramatic difference.
But, as time wore on and spring approached, we began to notice elusive changes. We were seeing less progress and more chaos. Daily we experienced less peace and more strife. Just FYI…We don’t do strife!
Where there had been love and closeness there were now accusations and a growing distance. Two weeks before Easter the strife boiled over into full scale discord and irreconcilable differences. I was asked to take two weeks off to “decide whether or not I could do the job as required.” I decided, since it was not a “job” but a voluntary calling, I could not meet the challenge and we returned to our normal routines…planning to go forward with no looking back. During the next two weeks I settled into writing and studying, cooking and gardening…moving forward.
On Easter Sunday (coincidentally my Birthday this year) we were presented with gifts, forgiveness, smiles and promises to forget, to forgive and to move ahead. On Monday we returned to the project…our goal once again…make a difference!
Unfortunately…or perhaps fortunately…chaos and strife won out. On Friday, May 19th it erupted again. This time in Chapel !!!!
Did I mention we don’t do strife?
We have lived our life for many, many years walking in “the way of Peace.”
Chaos and unrestrained self-absorption do not lead to peace.
Something died in both our hearts that morning as we watched an overwhelming lack of good taste and self-control throw every vestige of God’s Grace and Favor out the window. Life is too short and can be too sweet to waste it attempting to counsel those who refuse to admit they might be in error. Ever.
In any conflict, my position has always been, “No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides to every story.” I’m not going to try justifying any wrongs we may have committed in these many months. I’m perfectly certain there were wrongs, unintentional, or not. But this much I am certain of…if I have failed to give glory and honor to the Lord Jesus in some way, He will forgive me and show me how to move forward, in His love.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
12-14 Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honor of being called by God in Christ.
My ambition is the true goal of the spiritually adult: make it yours
15-16 All of us who are spiritually adult should set ourselves this sort of ambition, and if at present you cannot see this, yet you will find that this is the attitude which God is leading you to adopt. It is important that we go forward in the light of such truth as we have ourselves attained to.
9 thoughts on “oh joy! joy…Joy!”
Joy isn’t something I usually do! Your post makes me think perhaps the goal of “making a difference” is the difference. Maybe I’ll give it a try. Thanks.
Those who consider themselves spiritually mature must always be prepared for adversity. Apostle Paul met it every day and in every situation. Stick by your goals, Ellen. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Consistency is the most important facet of maturity. God will reward those who diligently seek Him.
Good News! I’ll be back tomorrow for more.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. Ellen, you’ve captured the essence of joy in so many ways on your Blog. I always appreciate your posts. LM
Makes me want to sing…I’ve got joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Feel better now. Thanks again. 🙂
Makes me think of Psalm 16, in His presence is fullness of JOY. Thanks for reminding me.
Why do you people think joy comes from being religious? The only joy I ever had came from being high
So, you’re always right and everyone else is always wrong? Who do you think you are? Anyone who spends time telling the WWW about their life is the one who’s self-absorbed. Get over yourself lady
Just wanted to add my thoughts to the others – people seem to fall into one category or the other in there comments. Either you’re right and they agree, or you’re wrong and they attack. Personally I think you have a great deal of courage to allow both sides to say what they think. I know lots of bloggers only allow the positive. Way to go
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