care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


Spiritual Forces

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12)

A couple of nights ago I went to bed feeling a bit down. I went to bed praying

But I awoke at some dark hour of the morning, not near time to arise for the day. I awoke glanced to my right, then back over my left shoulder. If I could adequately describe what I saw, you might understand my terror. However, I am not sure what I saw, so I will describe me innate reaction. My whole being was jolted with fear. Not fear as in I was a little startled, but fear as in my heart rate accelerated instantly. What I think I saw was some dark figure, as tall as the ceiling, bending or leaning over me, but far enough away to not have laid a hand on me.

All I could do was utter out loud, "Jesus help me!" or "Jesus save me!" That was the only thing I could get out of my mouth! And instantly whatever was there, was immediately gone and did not come back. Praise Jesus and what power there is in His name! In the one who upholds the whole of the created order, his name is powerful!

This is what I think ... Considering Paul's wise input and warning from Eph 6:12, I think I witnessed where this material world collides with eternal spiritual world! Everything about my "experience" fits with this verse. It was darkness in my room, leaning over me, darkness as in oppression. What I saw was terrifying ... I can imagine it was strong as in powerful, a cosmic power; but not the one true all-powerful Jesus!

I can further imagine that perhaps it was near me, but not attacking me because as my life verse states, "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." (Ps 91:11). Perhaps there were in some way angels surrounding me, like a barricade to this spiritual force. I don't know! But whatever was going on, I am fully convinced that Jesus delivered me from something that night, big or small He is my Deliverer! Further, at Jesus' name this thing went away. And in Jesus' name I asked him to protect our house, each room, our minds too! 

If I learned anything it is this .... There is a spiritual reality beyond the mundane we live each day, and we need - as Christians - to acknowledge that and seek to live armored with God's armor (Eph 6:10-18). He provides us what we need to face our enemies and the legions upon legions that want to destroy us for eternity! Not only that, He supplies what we need to seek to win over those who are currently leading lives unto eternal destruction.

I'll end with this ...

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)


I don't right about this much

I'm pretty sure not many people read this ... even so I at least wanted to jot down a few brief thoughts.

Even though I do not write much, here or anywhere else for that matter, about having Cystic Fibrosis, being a double-lung transplant patient, or having diabetes ... I will today.

Several thoughts ...

First, if you are someone in a similar situation to mine own, why do you let all your thoughts be about CF & the difficulty it puts you through? Why dwell on the horrible aspects of CF all the time? Why sit around and choose to gripe and vent about what is so wrong in your life?

Second, if you do not gripe about it all the time, why let your entire existence revolve around it? Why have a blog dedicated to all things CF? Perhaps its because you want people to be aware of CF. That is good and dandy, but it doesn't always have to be 110% CF this or CF that. Write or say something without including how CF impacts that aspect of your life?

Thirdly if the first question I posed describes you, why are you so angry about CF? I get it, actually I know first hand the very devastating affects CF can have. I know how it kills people who are young, don't deserve to die early, etc. I was almost one of them. And that time of my life was horrible! And there was a time I was very angry about CF and it affected my whole life. In very negative ways! Why do you post on Facebook, your blog, or twitter or any other social media all your angry, resentful, harsh and off-putting comments about CF?

Here's what I want to say ... QUIT BEING SO ANGRY ABOUT CF ALL TIME!

Its not helping you stay healthy, I can promise you that! Trying finding the good in life that often is hidden under layers of difficulty and hardship. Try being determined to enjoy life, without focusing so much on how CF ruins everything.

I learned this from my wife. You should try it ... go for a brisk walk, a jog, or run and instead of finding that your winded and griping ... turn it into to thankfulness and gratitude that you are able-bodied enough to walk or run. Some people cannot even do that! If it hurts, be grateful that you're alive enough to feel pain! Turn your anger into determination to beat a beastly disease ... but do that without griping all the time.

That is all.


Rain Barrel Frustrations


At church we're beginning a series on vocation. Its more about our calling to God - to be disciples & followers of Jesus, and how that "primary calling" (or vocation) directs & influences our other "secondary calling" (or vocation).

Note, vocation here is not referring to the job I spend 40+ hours a week at ... although it includes that. More broadly it encompasses how my calling to belong to God influences my life in four particular areas -  family, church, occupation, and the culture I live in. In short, the idea of vocation - belonging to God as a disciple of Jesus Christ - impacts every area of my life, both big & small.

Here, I'll be addressing the small things, more particularly a small thing. From yesterday.

While reading through Col 3:1-17 this morning, I was convicted about my attitude/behavior yesterday.

Context: Yesterday, we went to church, it was awesome. Following that Mere & I knocked out groceries for the week, then she started on some school work, while I began what I wanted to do all day ... build and ready really cheap rain barrel & stand for our garden in the backyard! So my goal for yesterday above all else - I was in tunnel-vision mode about it - was to knock this simple project out. I was so stoked about it! Commence trip to Home Depot (HD), followed by a stop at my station/farm to cut a 4x4 to size, & get back home to assemble the stand! Pretty simple?

Home Depot was a mad house. What I thought was going to be a 20 minute trip, was an hour. Pus someone decided they needed my cart (& the items I was going to purcahse) more than I did. Who steals a cart? When returning to go by the station, I realized I had left my work keys at home (a total back-tracking trip of 6 miles (read: "Not that big a deal" But it felt like it). Got back to the station cut the 4x4, and went home. Only thing is, in between all this I was fuming. I was mad and irritated.

I don't think getting frustrated at frustrating situations is wrong. I think that is emotion. Its wrong when that frustration boils over into anger. That is what happened with me. I have a temper, and apparently badly want everything to go super smoothly with no hick-ups at all. 
So, long story shortened ... I finished it yesterday and if I may, its awesome! Free Water for our garden, which will be awesome too!

Here is where Col 3 comes in. With each of the 17 verses it seemed as layer, much like on an onion, were being painfully peeled back revealing a stronger and stronger stench ... that of self-absorbed sin. My actions from yesterday scream self-centeredness ... its because each thing that went wrong, was in opposition to my plan to easily & smoothly assemble the rain barrel system. Nothing bad happened other than that I was slowed down ... a lot. But just consider Paul's words:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is... Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God... But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth... Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another... And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him...

Everything in these verse instructs me to act the complete opposite of how I did. More than that it makes me ask, "What does it really matter that I got slowed down?" ... "Didn't I have the chance to enjoy the beautiful day, be creative, constructive, and productive for the enjoyment of the project and to do it unto the Lord? And wouldn't that have been so honoring to Him?" ... I think there is a lot to that. The thought that as a child of God, I can go about my daily life & hobbies knowing that while  am enjoying those aspects of life, I am also by those very actions honoring God. I think that is marvelous! I love that & I believe God does too.

So what did I miss out on yesterday? Well there was certainly no value added to my day from being worked up. I missed out on quality time w/ Mere as I let it affect us for a little while. I was not honoring God, I allowed the joy of things be taken right from me (although I still enjoyed putting it all together).

This speaks directly to my primary vocation ... belonging to God. As one who belongs to God I want to be marked like that, to be known as belonging to God b/c of how I live. yesterday I failed - it would seem - to live out my primary calling.

At the end of the day, I had my heart set on my own intentions ... meaning, come hell or high water, I was finishing that stand! Instead of, allowing my thoughts of belonging to Christ to direct me to pursue completing the stand w/ the joy of being creative & productive. I let the old man (anger) conquer the new man (patience). Finally, I am still not sure if while I was working on it if I did it as unto the Lord or not ... I think it was not. That makes me sad too.

But, I will not muddle there any longer, the good news is that, yesterday is past and today is now. I can work today for Christ and find joy and meaning in that. I know that I stand forgiven and complete before God in Christ Jesus, so I can move on from my failures and not live in guilt. But hopefully there is room for learning from all this.

PS - I'll get a pic of the barrel soon!


I dont like correction

I don't like correction.

Today, the Holy Spirit has been all about some correction, re-orientation in my life. And its warranted. Today, I am aware of how bent on sin my heart can be. Its been made clear to just how harsh I can be toward people - if only in my head; which is no different than if I said those things directly to those people.

Today it is one person in particular. It is unnaturally easy to not like him. Not right... but unbelievably easy. See, it would appear from our interactions that he indeed hates me. Or at the very least, he wishes to have nothing to do with me; which is nigh impossible seeing that we work together. Every day.

So combine his disdain for me, my innately defensive self and the outcome is pretty predictable. I don't like him. In fact, if I am honest, scarily honest ... it feels at times that I hate him back.


At that honest thought, my soul got slapped. The first time I honestly evaluated my feelings toward him, my mental words to him, etc ... the Holy Spirit stepped in. CONVICTION! Strong, in my face conviction. My mental dialog (directed by the Spirit) went something like this ...
Wow! I really do feel that way about him. Ehh, that scares me! God, please don't let me feel this way toward him. He doesn't deserve that. ... He doesn't deserve to be hated or even disliked any more than I deserve that. Because we are the same... We are the same... Ouch, I don't like admitting that. But we are. Jesus died for both of us, Jesus loves him just as much as he loves me. Jesus wants him to be save just as much as he wanted to save me! The only difference between us ... Jesus has ransomed my life, and he is still refusing Jesus.... if even he has ever heard of Jesus' good news. God forgive me. Forgive me for feeling of hatred toward him. God, help me to see him as you see him; to see him as once you saw me. Forgive me for my wrathful thoughts toward him, for condemning him when you have proclaimed that I am not condemned before you! Help me to treat him as you have treated me. God, let me be Jesus to him.
Even as I am writing this, verses are coming to my mind. Verses that describe me and Barney (not his real name) ... "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit" (1 Pet 3:18).  Also, "And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners'" (Mark 2:17). 

I am complete unrighteousness without Jesus. I am totally sick and dying because of sin without Jesus! Barney is the same ... he is unrighteous and sick, in need of a Savior to cleanse and heal. There is no difference between us, I am no better than he. He is no worse than me. The only difference in that God in Jesus Christ my wonderful Savior has looked down upon me and poured out mercy, redeeming me despite that I constantly & rebelliously shake my fist at Him as I try to rule my life!

Jesus saves to the uttermost ... at the moment of first trust in his great sacrifice and love and today and every day, constantly redeeming me with the everlasting outcry of his blood on my behalf.

Knowing all this, the least I can do is love Jesus by loving Barney, and not stooping to the level of my fleshly reactions. But rather, I can turn it over to the Holy Spirit to treat him with the utmost respect and calmness, that I might win his friendship and be a light unto Christ for him.

O Jesus, work in us both!

Thankful for correction. 


Its been 9 years!

First, Merry Christmas!!!

Nine (9) years.

That is one third of my life, exactly.

Nine years ago today, I was in bad shape. I found myself in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, AL totally dependent for life on anything and everything but myself, but my own body. And in a very real way all the medicine, doctors, family and loved ones, although an immense comfort, could not pull me back from the brink of death. All I had - all I have ever had - was Jesus. He was, is, and always will be my only hope!

You see, my body attacked and in 18 years decimated my lungs to a point of no return. Death had a tightening grip that day and night. Christmas Eve 2003 was horrific. Mostly I was passed out with a body quickly fading, having all but shut down due to overwhelming infection and a massive lack of oxygen.  But for my family ... my dad, mom, 2 brothers, grandmother, and close friends ... Dec 24th, 2003 was the worst.

Then, 2am Christmas morning came. The most significant and joy filled phone call was received, "We've got lungs!" That was the beginning of life for me. By Christmas afternoon I had been made new. I was restored, renewed, transformed in a moment from death to life. The power of God displayed like I have never witnessed before. An unmistakable entrance into time from the Timeless Lord of all life!

Do you see where this is going?

Its kind of like it parallels Advent and the promise of Christmas! Where in the pain, agony, hurt, despair, loss of hope, and a general sense of being incomplete GOD ACTED! He intervened in the worst of all situations and circumstances ... Humanity who had turned its back on God, thus responsible for their own demise. He came into our pain and sorrow. He became our pain and sorrow for us, He is the Man of Sorrows.


Let it sink in ... Jesus, the Creator, the Son of God became the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief . The merciful and gracious Creator, submitted himself to humanity and was eventually murdered by the men He created. Its incomprehensible!!!

But herein lies the promise of Advent ... for renewal, for a hope anchored in a greater reality than what we see. Its the promise of all being made new!

It is because of the very horrors of Golgotha that I sit here today. It is because of the gruesomeness of the cross that I have two amazingly healthy lungs breathing - LIVING ABUNDANTLY - in my chest!

It is with a very tangible sense of longing and desire to know Jesus, face-to-face, and to know God with the veil removed that we look back to the cross, to His life, to His ADVENT and rejoice. Rejoice because we know we live under the gracious hand of God, who does the impossible. The impossible?

Life? No, He is good at that, but that is not the impossible! I can attest, as so many other people can, as Lazarus can!

The impossible is an infinite God - in every capacity - limiting Himself with flesh, with my limitations and living thus without sin, so that He might redeem His good creation that is rebelling against Him still. That is the impossible, and He is good at that too!!!

We also have a future hope, when He will once and for all make all things new and good. You cannot forget that!


Kind of flowing out of those thoughts, are thoughts about how grateful and full my heart is now. I am married! I am married to my best friend, an amazing women who adores me and puts up with all my health "issues" by choice. She said yes to me almost a year ago, fully aware of what she was getting into. If you don't know her, well that's your loss. She is my favorite and I love living and doing life with her. I am a rich, rich man because of the Lord's grace in my life through Meredith! I have parents and brothers and a sister-in-law who all love me, whom I all love as well. I am the most blessed man among men. I cannot tell you just how full my heart is!

There is another family as well, one I've yet to meet. They are the parents and siblings of my donor. I love them. I want to tell them such, to show off to them all that God has done in my life. How they have blessed so many more lives than just my own, but oh how blessed my life is indeed. My heart hurts for you, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. My heart breaks for you. Please know, I absolutely love you so much, and wish I could tell you in person. You are angels from God! If I meet you, I will bear hug you like I've never hugged anyone!

So with that I will leave you with a Merry Christmas! I hope you will join me in celebrating the gift of lungs that Jesus provided for me nine years ago. But more than that, stop, worship and celebrate Jesus, He is far more than "worth it." He is the best! He is the greatest and I love Him so much!

May your heart be filled with hope, love, joy and peace of Jesus, the Great I AM, our Immanuel. Today, tonight, and always He is with us!

Merry Christmas!



I wrote this a few days ago as I was reading along with an Advent reading plan. These are the thoughts that flowed out of that reading.

Isaiah 11:1-10

The contrast between chapter 10:20-34 and 11:1-10 is rather stark. God is pronouncing judgment via the Assyrians, assuring Israel that there will be destruction and yet a remnant will remain. He promises that His indignation will relent. His anger will be turned toward those who oppress Israel, as it was with Egypt and other enemies of Israel. Chapter 10 comes to an end with a strong decree that God will wipe out Assyria with might and sheer strength.

Chapter 11 begins with a tree shoot springing up from the root of Jesse, King David’s father. This One will have God’s Spirit upon Him, to lead Him in wisdom and understanding, in counsel and strength, and in the knowledge and fear of God. Not only will the Spirit of God lead him in these things, but it will be His delight (v1-3a)

To those of us seeking to follow Christ ... By allowing the Spirit to lead, our hearts can be opened to the mysterious and wondrous heart of God, so that our hearts become aligned with His, our minds with His thoughts, and our ways as His are. It will be as a delight to us. We will be made into a people upon whom the Spirit of God can freely rest, thus our hearts will be transformed into delighting, enjoying, longing, and desiring after God; We'll be made to walk how He says to out of love and concern for us, to live as directed because it leads to fullness of life in Jesus.

The Branch is above superficial judgment of the eye, by what meager words He hears (v3b). But rather by the righteousness of God, He views the world and through that He judges. Yet, His concern is not initially on the “sinners” and “vile,” but it mentions He will, with righteousness, judge the poor (V4). The poor? As in materially poor, monetarily poor, or poor in spirit (Matt 5:3)? (I am going with poor in spirit) He will judge the poor because they are unpretentious, broken and weak people who know their need. These desire to be fixed and hold on to even the smallest thread of hope, that the day is coming for all things to be undone and set in perfect order! These are the ones He comes for, because they are the ones who inherit the kingdom of God. After this comes His judgment of the earth (v4-5).

After judgment come harmony, peace, newness and total restoration (v6-9)! No longer will the weak be devoured, no longer will the defenseless be destroyed, no longer will the lost be ashamed and led astray … NO LONGER will the fallenness of this world wreak its havoc into every last sphere, insisting on upheaval of peace and order, creating chaos, pain, hurt and remorse. NO LONGER will God sit by in long-suffering and patience as His beautiful creation groans under the weight of the curse, longing with anticipation and heart ache for the day when ALL IS MADE NEW! NO LONGER will God postpone His burning white-hot judgment due for Satan, all of hell’s demons, and darkness. No longer will God patiently watch as His bride is taken advantage of both from the inside and outside. No longer will death, despair, and brokenness prevail! Rather in that day, the ultimate realization of love, peace, comfort, joy and completeness will be ushered in with great to do! In that day we will all see our Savior, the wonderful and awesome Jesus whose throne will be glorious (v10)

That is the waiting and longing of Advent!

Merry Christmas!!!


There was a time...

Right now Mere and I are treading new territory. In a way its a repeat of long dormant trials and in other ways its all new.

Three weeks ago, after seeing my PFT's (a breathing test I do to indicate level of lung function) drop twice consecutively, my doctors & I decided it was time for a bronch (to get lung biopsies). It did not go well, but they did find infection. We started treating the infection with oral & inhaled antibiotics. After two weeks I saw my doctors again; & my PFT's had not improved, moreover some kidney levels were off. They were so abnormal for me that we repeated labs to confirm they were actually my own labs. They were. Throughout that week (last week) labs were repeated making sure those numbers were correcting themselves. They were not. I drank and drank water to hydrate myself, to flush my system, to get these numbers down ... to no avail.

Then I received the type of call thay last Friday nobody really cares to receive.
Friday, July 27th, 1:30 pm

Me: Hello?
Laura (lung transplant coordinator): Hi Adam, we need you to come to the hospital.
Me: Okay, whats up?
Laura: You're creatinine levels are still climbing. We need you to come in.
Me: When, like now?
Laura: Yeah, right now.
Me: ...uh ...okay. I'll be headed that way shortly. Thanks, bye.
Laura: Okay just come back to clinic. See you soon.
Me: ?????????...

End phone call.
Most people would assume I was just dehydrated, having been working in heat indices greater than 105 degrees. But if you had known I had downed 6 liters of water two days straight, you might change your mind. So for Mere, the doctors, & I; we all assumed I was not dehydrated, how could I have been?

At clinic, Laura proceeds to use the words "systemic infection," at what time Mere & I heard "septic." Cue FREAKOUT!!! We both did a little. But Laura stated, "We THINK it MAY BE a sign of a systemic infection since we THINK you are hydrated." Still, hard not to hear some certainties amongst the uncertainties. So, I was promptly admitted, had an IV called a PICC line inserted in my arm (it can stay in for up to 6 weeks if needed). Once my room was ready they administered IV fluids and antibiotics. By now, we had spoken to my parents who had then decided to drive through the night to be with us. They are awesome.

You must understand. I am healthy. If you met me today, you would not only not suspect, but never even know I am a transplant patient. I like it that way. Also, in 8 and 1/2 years since being transplanted, I have NEVER been sick ... at least not with it starting or even progressing to my lungs. So this is entirely abnormal! That is why I said this is new for me and my folks. This is definitely new for Mere as she has never known me to be sick at all ... not like this anyway. So, as my wife, she found all of this to be overwhelming. As I did too. But she is an amazing woman. She accepted it, and took it all in stride as each new bit of information became available. Friday afternoon and evening, we prayed and prayed and prayed and others who knew did too.

Fast forward 5 days, I am now at home on IV antibiotics for the next three weeks. In a matter of a few hours, our house transformed into a make shift hospital, which is FAR better than a real hospital. So, in this since its old territory, like the days before transplant.

So, now that I have said all that ... let me get to the meat of what I am thinking ...

Tuesday was a hard day for Mere and I. In different and in similar ways I think. Adjusting to this is not easy. For me, its hard to shift back, recalling the bad times before transplant when I was actually sick, recalling the times when bad news was a frequent and normal occurrence. It is hard to break a health-oriented mentality and lifestyle. For Mere, it was a lot more than that. She was watching all this stuff happen like it was no big deal. To her it is a great big deal, understandably so! For her, all of this IV supplies around the house triggered a series of "What if's?" Those are hard to manage and mostly they paralyze one in fear. Then it got harder for me as I watched an innocent bystander - Mere, as she were - have to take all this crap upon herself and then be affected by it. This is not easy. It is not easy to watch my wife suffer on my behalf.  So we both had some cries, and rightfully so.

But we both in our own ways started internally working through it all. By day's end we were totally different people, so it seemed. We had our thoughts corrected and re-oriented. We see the blessing and grace of it all, straight from Jesus' gracious hand.  We have & will continue to consider that God's wisdom is higher & different than our own. We know that trials work to change us us - when we persevere in them - a perfect completeness results (James 1:2-4). We also know that in Jesus all our request and all God's promises are yes (2 Cor 1:20), including the ones that tell us not to worry because He cares and provides for us all that we need.

Even so, I am mindful of Solomon's wise words...
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
With this is mind, I am encouraged and confronted by truth. Its is okay to struggle with accepting something. There is a time and a place to struggle with difficult circumstances. There is a time to weep, to be sad, to be downcast ... but there is no time or place or reason to allow sadness to turn into sulking, self pity, and outright grumpiness due to one's circumstances. Likewise, on the flip side of sadness and mourning, there is a glorious and wondrous time of laughing & dancing ... ie: REJOICING.

Q: But what is there for rejoicing in during trials of life?

Paul nails this one on the head, leaving us with no excuses, when he says in Phil 3:1, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord..." (my emphasis). Finally ... after all that he had written, after all the instruction in the preceding two chapters, he says we are to rejoice. I guess it could be perplaxing, a little ... coming from Paul; Mr. I have suffered "far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches." (2 Cor 11:23-28)

WHAT!?  Why is this guy telling us to rejoice? How is he in the middle of all his trials so jubilant? 

I think it is more simple than I'd like it to be. 

Its because Paul was content in the Lord beyond his circumstances. He found more joy in Christ, in communion and fellowship with Jesus than he did in life. He reveled more greatly in the truth of the gospel of Jesus than he counted his life valuable. He even says this earlier in Philippians. Paul not only was content, he rejoiced in Jesus, in the truth that in Him all things are made new; that a day is coming when Jesus will make all things right. In this we rejoice, that in Jesus we have found our "Yes" ... "Far as many are the promises of God, in Him they are yes" (2 Cor 1:20) .

So how did I get here? Because on Tuesday I went from being sad to sulking in self pity because I have an IV in my arm for three weeks, thus interfering with my perfect little world of self interest; to not only accepting my circumstances, but to rejoicing in them. There are many benefits to being told I cannot go back to work for a few days, to going through these passing trials ... 

... I get to be with my wife all day long, help get her classroom set up
... I have more time to rest = get well sooner
... I have more time to spend in the Word & in prayer
... I can sleep in some
... go to the beach

Plus more. But the point is that in the midst of trouble there is a lot of blessing. In the midst of trouble there is a calm that surpasses logic and rational thinking. Indeed the Lord does say, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ... Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:25 & 31). Not too mention that we are over flowing with gratitude that the infection is minor in terms of what it could be, that I was only dehydrated, that my kidneys are happy again, that I have an amazing team of doctors who are smart and awesome. Not to mention that I have my best friend to be by my side at all times. Mere is my favorite. Not to mention that Jesus is perfecting us to more fully reflect His goodness and worth to a world around us who is in dire need of Him

So, I'll end now. There was a timing for weeping and mourning. Its over. Now is the time for laughing and dancing.

I hope you'll find in the trying times of your life that there is not only a time for weeping, but also a lot of time for laughter. The Lord is good, and in Him we find our yes and our rejoicing.