“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”Romans 12:12
My grandmother’s life motto is “I choose joy!” She has taught me that in the midst of all circumstances, I can choose joy because Christ is alive and on His throne. He is in control.
But choosing to be joyful has not always been easy. There have certainly been situations that have put her faith to the test. One of those moments came when her daughter of 23 months (my dad’s sister) passed away of tuberculous meningitis. It was a time in my grandmother’s life when she could have easily said “why me” or “why now” or “why her…she was just an infant.” But instead, she chose to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” to the one true God. She knew He had a bigger plan.
In Mark 5, a synagogue leader named Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with Him to heal his daughter, who was dying. As they were on their way to see her, the story takes a turn when Jesus stops to heal a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. In the meantime, Jairus’ daughter dies. Those around him said, “your daughter is dead, do not bother the teacher anymore.” But Jesus said, “do not be afraid; just believe.” When they arrive at Jairus’ house, Jesus takes her by the hand and says, “little girl, I say to you, arise.” The Scripture says she immediately got up and walked.
Jesus Himself defeated death once and for all when He rose from the grave after that third day. Because He lives, we can choose joy in all circumstances, even those that seem utterly hopeless.
Today is April 6, which just so happens to be my first daughter’s official due date. My husband and I are naming her after my dad’s sister who passed away those many years ago. We will absolutely tell her the story of her namesake, but most importantly, we will tell her the story of how Jesus Christ defeated the grave. In all circumstances, we will choose joy, because we know that Jesus is alive. He is on His throne, and He is in control of all things.