I haven’t written a lot about what has been going on in my life recently because I didn’t want to share how hard things suddenly became for me. We went to our son’s house on Thanksgiving and I ended up staying for two additional weeks to do childcare, similar to what I did last year. The difference this year is twofold: one, I had not prepared to stay, so I did not have a lot of my warm things with me; and two, the infant is now a very active toddler and my seven decades have difficulty keeping up with him. I have been home this week as my son and his family celebrate at Disney. I am so blessed to be home for almost two weeks, spending time with my beloved kitty and my even more loved spouse, taking care of errands and just settling comfortably into my chair with a warm blanket tucked around me. Next week I return to Maryland and my duties there. Yes, the work is harder for me than I want it to be, but God is allowing me to be a witness for a season, so I am trying to approach the situation with joy. My husband will be with me for Christmas and then he will come back to Virginia for the month of January while I remain behind.
One of the offshoots of my stay there has been higher blood pressure, a condition that my nephrologist wants me to get under control because of the effect on my single kidney. So one of the first things I did when I returned home was schedule an appointment to see my cardiologist. I saw the physician’s assistant instead and received a prescription for a new medicine to add to my Beta blocker. Unfortunately, I reacted badly to the medicine with some rough side effects, so now I am awaiting word from the doctor’s office about what, if anything, I should do next. Meanwhile, I am praying and hoping that the high blood pressure will pass and I will level out again. As my husband said, I am anxious about my numbers as I take the reading each day, so it is not a surprise when they are higher. I am trying to control my thoughts and thus my hypertension, but I’m not too good at it.
I read in Dr. Denison’s Forum today about joy and was happy to discover a quotation from Henry Nouwen. I hope that it speaks to you as it spoke to me. I encourage you to follow the link to Dr. Denison’s post and to sign up for his Forum. He gives a refreshingly Biblical insight into current events! Dr. Denison’s Forum
Henri Nouwen observed: “Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives. Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live is shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. Jesus says it loudly and clearly: ‘In the world you will have troubles, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.’
“The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God’s light is more real than all the darkness, that God’s truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God’s love is stronger than death.
Joy is not based on circumstances, but on the unwavering truth of God’s Word. And that is a fact that I can live with!