This post is part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain (CWBC) topic for July: Celebrate. You will find more articles on this topic from the wonderful people listed on the sidebar to the left.
As I mentioned in my post on NonaKing.com, this month has been a study of celebration and agony. This year has been a broader study of the same, but that’s a different post altogether. For now, I will limit myself to speaking about Celebration.
A few days ago I began pondering what I could possibly say on this topic. There is the obvious for we Americans, the celebration of our Independence from the monarchy of England, but it rang too impersonal. There is, also, celebration of the fact I am finally here in North Dakota with my husband, reunited after about 80 days apart. But that isn’t what pressed on my heart.
To have celebration there must first be a reason. There is no oasis without a desert. There is no relief without first experiencing pain. There is no celebration without that first agony of daily struggle.
‘…when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD…’ Leviticus 23:39
‘…for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.’ Luke 15:24
When this challenge began in January, my husband and I apart during the week as he worked in Seattle (I was in Eastern Washington), I took comfort in the fact he would return each Friday evening. There also began to grow in the back of my mind the thought we were training for a future blessing. So, we waited, trusting our future to the Lord and facing our daily challenges with due diligence. Each weekend we celebrated the time with one another with laughter and fun. We treasured those days.
But the Lord intended another challenge and, as He does, prepared the way.
My husband was offered and accepted a job in North Dakota in April. It would result in unknown weeks and months of diligently stepping forward into the future God held for us. One by one, these challenges were faced and passed… and one by one another more difficult obstacle stood ahead. The Lord used these daily struggles to teach patience, perseverance, trust, discipline, and calm.
Now, as we near the end, we have reason to celebrate our diligence. We have made it through, our new home in the final stages of closing, our furniture soon to be delivered, and our future brightening through the final shadows of this particular wilderness.
The struggle has been difficult, yes, but I felt the Lord with me each day, as I do even now, and I relished the encouragement of my husband each evening when we spoke on the phone. These challenges have raised within me a new confidence and desire to act. The Lord has led us through, brought us together, and now guides us through to a celebration of victory. It will be a joyful day indeed when I can open the door of our new home and breathe a sigh of completion.
So please remember, if you find yourself in a difficult place in your life, there is an end. There is no way to know when that bend in the road will come about, but take heart in the fact there is a party waiting at the finish. The Lord loves to celebrate, I am confident in that, and we should relish the effect that joy has on our lives, present and future.
So, BBQ anyone? Rib-Eye Steaks and Bison Burgers at my house. I’ll make my famous Devil’d Eggs if you bring the beverages and chips/salsa.