Choosing to rejoice

“This day,today, Jehovah has made/appointed. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

So when God created evening and morning, He called it a “day” and declared it “good”. How many times have I said the opposite of God (!) placing it on the other side of the ledger, calling it a ‘bad’ day? The day He Himself has created, appointed, and declared ‘good’? Forgive me, Lord…When I agree with You, knowing there is nothing random in Your kingdom, my eyes are newly opened to Your goodness, even in the midst of trying circumstances. And that is where I long to dwell.

The evening of Karisa’s high school graduation, Saturday, June 15, I began having stomach discomfort. Thinking I had a flu, I endured throughout Sunday, keeping people at arm’s length lest they catch it. By Sunday night, the pain had increased to such a degree, I realized a) it was not a flu b) I could not wait until morning to call the doctor. I hesitated a while, not wanting to wake up Don (because of the nature of his disease he sleeps so little), but finally woke him and we quickly went to the hospital arriving around 1:30 am. By 4:30 am, the CT scan results confirmed appendicitis and the doctor was called. He arrived just before 9 and told me it would be a simple laparoscopic procedure and I could possibly go home by that evening. Shortly after that and before the actual surgery at 2:30 pm, my appendix ruptured, sending searing pain through the roof, and spewing infectious toxins throughout my abdomen, leading to peritonitis, and to 7 days in the hospital.

The days were long and filled with pain and discomfort. Instead of being restful, I felt like I had to fight to re-gain balance, because the heavy antibiotics flowing through my IV tube to get rid of the infection were also making me feel very sick. I felt like you do in the ocean with the waves pushing and pressing and you lose your footing. In many ways, I felt at the mercy of the doctors but in reality I was kept in the merciful hand of God. And had much time to ponder the events of the week.

God reminded me that the pains actually had begun the night before the graduation. I was up a couple of hours late Friday night thinking something I ate had not digested well, but eventually fell asleep. When I got up the morning of the graduation, and throughout the day, I had only slight twinges to remind me and was grateful whatever it was had passed. Although, unknown to me, it was a foretaste of things yet to come, God gave me the gift of enjoying her graduation and celebration that day!! It could have been different – but it was a 12-hour window gift and memory I will enjoy the rest of my life.

As ‘bad’ as it was – I survived. There are those who don’t. As long as it was, I have heard others spent even longer in the hospital. As hard as the timing was, I was out of the hospital and able to go to our much-loved time at Joni&Friends camp, where I truly could relax and recuperate in ways I could not at home. The timing couldn’t have been any better in that regard.

The choice to rejoice is a gift. A choice to agree with God and therefore see His goodness, carefully woven in and among what is not ‘good’. What empowerment in the choice He gives us!

Thank You, Creator God, that this day is a day You are at work. A day You, as Redeemer, have meant for good to come forth. A sacred day, an appointed day, a day known to You, the All-Knowing One, have ordained from ages past. A day, Precious Immanuel, You are present with me. You are present for me. I choose to rejoice in Your goodness and Your presence and Your purpose in it.

What do you think?