Rejoicing and Weeping

by Kathi Pelton

I don’t often take the time to just scroll through social media but this morning I did. As I did I found myself rejoicing at posts that announced great news (the birth of a baby, a miracle, a reunion with a loved one, etc.) but then as I scrolled further I’d come upon some of the most painful, heart wrenching posts I can imagine. I went from praising God for His goodness to pleading with Him for comfort and mercy within mere seconds.

We are all in different seasons; some are in seasons of great joy, new beginnings and seeing long awaited desires fulfilled. Others have suddenly been swept into loss, grief and pain that leaves them barely able to breathe. And of course there are those who are just journeying along in a season of “normal everyday life.”

We have all known and experienced these three very diverse season in life. So where is God in the midst of tragedy while another is dancing for joy?

He is in both. Though we cannot comprehend why tragedies occur, especially to those whose lives have been committed to Jesus, still they do. I have lived through them and through them found a different aspect of God that changed my life for the better. The tragic or painful seasons were where I had to live “in the deep.” It is there that I learned the truth of His faithfulness when every circumstance and emotion screamed out, “Where are you God?”

Life is a journey of hills and valleys, grassy fields and desert sand, jumping for joy and falling down in deep grief. We don’t get to escape any of it and yet we do get to discover that our God is faithful through it all. His goodness does not change, His promises do not end and His love does not waver.

How is it that God can be bending down to comfort and help the one going through the deepest pain and in the same moment dancing over the one who has found Him or who is celebrating a great victory. How is it that one experiences a miracle while another a tragic loss. He’s not a God of contradictions but rather a God who is near to all. He can weep and rejoice without contradiction. He can perform a miracle one moment and leave us wondering why He didn’t in the next moment. Or maybe we don’t understand what a miracle looks like? God is not limited to one expression or confined to an “either or”…He is the God of “Both and…”

Just as I found myself this morning rejoicing one second and in tears the next as I viewed posts on social media; even more I was aware that God was with all, in all and faithful to all. His faithfulness is as true in the tragedies as in the triumphs. His love is as complete and undiminished in the pain as it is in the promise fulfilled.

One of my favorite verses to meditate on and to speak on is Hebrews 11:11. Those who know me will often hear me emphasize the truth hidden within this verse,

“And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:11‬ ‭

The part that has impacted my life isn’t the promise fulfilled but rather the words, “…she considered him faithful who had made the promise.”

The promised didn’t come for years and Sarah and Abraham wavered in their emotions about the promise. But she began with the conviction of His faithfulness. I, too, have chosen to “consider” (judge, discern) Him faithful in my life and daily choices. That is my life standard. I have determined that though seasons change, my emotions change, my perspective varies and my circumstances change…HIS FAITHFULNESS IS UNCHANGING!

I may need to be reminded of this in a time of pain and I may need others to help hold me on this truth when I do not understand the journey; but I choose this as my truth and my anchor.

We can rejoice with one and weep with another without contradictions. We do not have to understand the “whys” to declare Him as faithful. One day we will all understand and know that our faith was and is justified. Until that day, determine one thing…HE IS FOREVER FAITHFUL! In everything “consider Him faithful.”

Seasons come and seasons go but His steadfast love endures forever. This is your anchor.

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