Count it all joy….
I can remember this line from scripture. I believe it’s in the book of James, telling us to count it all joy when we face various trials and tribulations. Those trials result in patience and so forth and so forth…
Yesterday I faced a pretty big trial. I spoke in my last post about time telling everything and I spoke at length about my grandfather. A man I called father and the man that raised me and gave me so much wisdom. On June 5th 2016 my grandfather died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 84. A full life indeed. So many emotions ran through my body as I tried to cope with the lost. I couldn’t eat for several hours. My wife explained this to me in a way I will not soon forget. I remember being very hungry right before I heard the news of my grandfather passing, in fact we were on our way to the restaurant. After I heard the news of his passing all my hunger went away, only to be replaced with sorrow and regret. Sorrow that I couldn’t call him for advice and regret that we didn’t spend more time together. My wife had mentioned that because of the magnitude of this situation, your body has cancelled out all the less important things, like hunger, as it focuses on your heavy heart so to speak. I think she was right.
As sad as I was that my grandfather had left this earth, I reminded myself that his spirit lives on. That right now in this very moment he is with me and I can talk to him and have confidence that he hears me and sees me right in this very moment, similar to my heavenly father. Now I in fact have a second blessing in the sky, guided by his wisdom from past conversations and knowing that he was proud of me and my accomplishments. I take joy in knowing that he is in no more pain, and that I will see him again in Heaven. I never really realized just how much my grandfather meant to me until that very second that I learned he was gone and I would never get to physically talk to him again. So much was put into perspective and I know my life as I once knew it would never be the same.
Our loved ones have such an impact on our lives. We should nurture and mend these relationships because life is just way to short not to. I will fly into town to spend time with my family and mourn the loss of my father. This is the first time I have lost someone in my immediate family that I have been so close to. Time is our most valuable possession. Let’s spend our time being happy instead of upset, angry, and bitter. Is it really impossible to wake up everyday happy and with a smile? Who doesn’t want to be happy all the time? We live in a world that constantly reminds us of death, despair, and a sense of hopelessness. I strive to block out all that negativity and find my inner peace. Society may peg you as a goodie two shoes or someone who’s too nice, or annoying or unnaturally kind, but who cares? I’ve come to learn that at the end it will be you and God, and the two of you alone. No critics or naysayers will be present when you face your final judgement. I want to be able to say I tried to spread love and spread peace, and do all I could to be a vessel for which God could use. I still have a lot of things to work on, I’m not always in the best mood, but we must be patient and continue to work on perfecting ourselves. My grandfather wasn’t perfect but he loved the Lord and loved his family and he always, always tried to help me when I was in need. I cherish the time I had to spend with him.
If you have ever lost a loved one then I’m sure you can attest to the gut wrenching pain that comes with trying to get over that situation. The truth is you never get over it, it is always with you until the day you take your final breath. As for count it all joy, I think I finally understand what this scripture means. Count it all joy because this loss will help you grow. Count it all joy because this loss will cause you to thank God for the life of your deceased family member. Count it all joy because you will now appreciate this person in a way that just wasn’t the same when they were here in the physical form. Count it all joy because you are now even that much more prepared for whatever situation life may throw at you. Count it all joy because my grandfather, Rufus Henry Johnson got to spend 84 years on this earth and as he would say, everyday above ground is a blessing!!