I read about someone recently who really inspires me when it comes to joy. His name is Bill and he chose joy even though he was losing his wife to cancer. The story comes from Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. This is what Mark relays about Bill’s joy-filled perspective on his wife’s cancer.
“Bill sent an interesting email this week to us elders and he gave us the reasons that he was rejoicing.
- He rejoiced that his wife loves Jesus.
- He rejoiced that his wife’s suffering one way or another would come to an end.
- He rejoiced that on the other side of the grave, Jesus was waiting for his wife and that he and his kids as Christians one day would see her on the other side of the grave.
- He was rejoicing that in their time in the hospital that they were able to talk to nurses and fellow patients and doctors about Jesus.
- They were rejoicing that as people brought meals and served them, their non-Christian neighbors started asking, “How did you get such a great support network?” and their answer was, “You know, we’re part of a Christian church, and God’s people take care of each other.”
- He was rejoicing in this fact – that God had given him the ability to care for his wife to a depth and degree that he had never experienced. He has to give her medications every day. She hallucinates. He has to help her to the restroom. She’s racked with constant pain. As he was escorting her to the restroom, she looked at him and said, “I never knew you had this much caring in you.”
- He said, “You know what? I rejoice that the Lord has given me this much love and compassion to serve my wife. I rejoice that I get to serve her right to the very end. I rejoice that I get to be with her. I rejoice that I get to look after her. I rejoice that I get to tend to her needs.”
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, ‘Rejoice.'” Philippians 4:4