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  • David

    May 11, 2021 at 6:32 am

    Rejoicing in times of trouble is not a default response for me. My first response is usually anxiety, despair, fear or anger, so this text and the one for tomorrow are always both challenging and comforting for me. Then to heap hot coals on my head Paul and JD throw in gentleness. I am not normally a gentle person. It’s not a word most people would use to describe me. I am noted for being an intense, passionate, take charge, task oriented, type A person. You throw in control freak, people pleaser, perfectionist and a dash of OCD and you have the natural me.

    But that’s the power of the command to rejoice always and to let your gentleness be seen by all. It’s not natural, it’s supernatural and we have to choose to rejoice and to have a gentle calm spirit. That is my second response and the one I finally retreat to in times of trouble. I am striving to make it my first response, but I am not there yet. I take hope in the fact that the time between my first response and my second response is growing shorter. For me, the pathway to rejoicing in times of trouble is trusting in Him not myself. That’s what calms me down, takes away the despair, anxiety and fear, and grants me peace. I just have to practice doing it sooner.

    As a final thought, let me share a tip for all you joyful, gentle, calm people who find themselves yoked to or in relationship with someone like me. It does NOT help for you to remind me of what I already know. What helps me most is your patience (forbearance) and gentleness. Give me some time and space to work it out with God. My partner and the Joy of my life, Ann, is a master at this. She is my “curmudgeon tamer.” She just lets me vent and then with a gentle touch says, it will be alright. Thank you Lord!