Rejoicing Despite Disappointment
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
This past weekend was supposed to be an exciting one. Luke and Nathan should have been walking onto a stage at the Wright State University’s Nutter Center Arena to receive diplomas. All of us should have been sitting in the stands cheering as Luke was hooded and recognized for earning his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Nathan also would have been handed his diploma for a Bachelor’s degree in the same. Two graduates – double the celebration. But because of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 virus everything changed and we had a choice to make. We could sit around and feel sorry over the disappointment, or accept the day the Lord had made and be glad in it!
Rejoicing in Disappointment
We chose the latter. We packed a picnic lunch and caravanned to Southern Ohio to spend a fun day together hiking, exploring family history, and making memories. We visited Grandma Sheridan’s old homestead where we hiked up to the pond and upper field. We talked and laughed and hunted for mushrooms, all the while enamored by sweet baby Lilly and entertained by two-year old Ruby’s antics.
At midday we found ourselves at an old family cemetery tucked into a hidden spot at the end of a gravel road. There we peeked into the past through the windows and wooden door of a tiny primitive church building furnished only with log benches and a rough pulpit. We reflected on the many generations of family members whose crumbling grave stones gave testimony to the days they once lived. After enjoying our packed lunches on picnic tables under the modern pavilion we began our trek home. We were tired but happy. The day that should have been was different than we had expected. But it was still the day the Lord had made and we found gladness in it.
Life is Not What We Imagined a Year Ago
Many in our society are experiencing disappointments right now. Countless students mourn the loss of wearing the traditional cap and gown of their school and walking down the aisle with their classmates to receive recognition for their years of hard work. Others are exchanging their dreams of a large traditional wedding for a few friends gathered in a living room on the special day. Yet other families are mourning the loss of loved ones without the attendance of extended family and friends.
Life is not what we imagined it would be a year ago, but we still have control over our responses. We can choose to rant and rave about the unfairness of life. We can blame government officials for making difficult choices that affect our hopes and dreams. We can harbor bitterness and shrivel up inside. Or we can choose to recognize that God is still in control. Today is still the day that the Lord has made. Will you rejoice and be glad in it?