Thursday, September 3, 2015

Don't You DARE Have Fun!

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Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.
Psalm 33: 1-9 NIV

Sometimes, as parents of children with disabilities and health concerns, we feel like we shouldn't have fun.  As much as we WANT to have fun, we feel as though we would look selfish or calloused if the world saw us having fun when the world knows the condition of our children.
When my daughter had cancer,  we stopped going to church and we stopped getting together with a lot of people, and we stopped traveling to visit my family who lived 4 hours away.  We did all of those things because of the risk of germs that could have dramatically impacted our daughter's health while she was on chemotherapy.
However, we DID take a weekend away together as husband and wife, and I DID take a girls weekend to go scrapbook and relax.  We even went to a "black tie optional" dinner as a fundraiser for the American Family Children's Hospital while she was still on chemo.   
Why did we do this?
Because we had hope in the Lord, and we trusted that our future was in His hands.  

Look at the beginning of Psalm 33...we are told to sing JOYFULLY for the Lord, and PRAISE Him.  We aren't told to do it only during good times.  We are told to do it when everyone is healthy and finances are good and times are really swell.  No, we are told to sing joyfully and praise Him because:
That's not just in the good times.

 Praise be to the Lord,
    for he showed me the wonders of his love
    when I was in a city under siege.
Psalm 31:21 NIV 

Yes, we felt like our city was under siege when our daughter had cancer.   Yes, we have felt alone and desperate in times when we are bombarded with medical issues, or behavioral issues.  But, praise be to the Lord, He has shown us His love EVERY DAY...and for that we will praise Him.  
We will praise Him and smile even when there is pain in our life.  
We will praise Him and rejoice, even when the world might look at us and say, "Look at what they are doing at a time like THIS."
We will praise Him because He has a future-world for us that makes this world seem like seem as important as dust on a scale...
We will praise Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do tomorrow... 
So, if you are concerned today because you have fun plans in the future and you're afraid of what people may THINK of you for rejoicing and having fun when your child has special needs (gosh, we should be wearing our black robes of mourning and spending our days lamenting with the gnashing of teeth and shaking of our fists, right?) have been directed by God, the guy in charge of it ALL, to REJOICE, SING AND DANCE. 

It is our responsibility to show His glory through our joy in all circumstances. 

I can't think of a better way to close this entry than in the words of the apostle Paul: 

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 NIV (my emphasis added)... 

Pray:  Heavenly Father, thank you for ALWAYS being with us, even in our hardest times; when our city is under siege.  Father, I pray that you help me remember that I am to REJOICE at all times; and that is nothing to be ashamed of, nor to fear.  My concern lies not in the possible negative response of a few; rather, in the glory that my joy gives to you!  You are capable of anything and everything; and yet you care for ME!  I know that is reason enough to sing, dance, applaud, and rejoice every chance that I get.  Amen.


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