Rejoice

When I was little, we sang a song often that was based on Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always,
and again i say rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always,
and again i say rejoice
Rejoice, rejoice
And again I say rejoice
Rejoice, rejoice
And again I say rejoice
Rejoice in the Lord always,
and again i say rejoice

To this day when I read that scripture, I hear the word “rejoice” that song hits my lips. This morning in my Bible Study this was my scripture for process. As I sang my song, I thought what does rejoice really

The Greek word for rejoice is xaírō according to Bible Hub online Greek definition:

5463 xaírō (from the root xar-, “favorably disposed, leaning towards” and cognate with 5485 /xáris, “grace”) – properly, to delight in God’s grace(“rejoice”) – literally, to experience God’s grace (favor), be conscious (glad) for His grace.

I truly do rejoice in awe and amazement at the grace of God in my life.  I remember the first time I really felt His grace.  I was driving down a local highway with my husband.  It was dark outside.  We were listening to the radio, a song about grace was playing and I was just staring out the window talking quietly to God.  Tears started to stroll down my face out of nowhere, as I thought about God’s grace in the life of my children.

I was acutely aware that His grace had covered my parenting.   By twenty-one, I had been a teenage parent, a divorced women, homeless, and a mother of three children.  Although I had stopped smoking and popping pills, I still took occasion to smoke pot and drink anytime I had a babysitter until my youngest was three.   Those were just the physical circumstances.  

Emotionally I was traumatized, depressed, and angry.  I carried around bitterness and unforgiveness like a badge of honor.  Rejection and isolation were also close friends.  

Even as I let go of those emotions, my life was so occupied that I didn’t take much time for my kids.  I was there for functions, as I was correcting the mistake I felt my parents made.  They could have friends over anytime.   We also did a lot of extended family things.  However, I was never home because I was either working to help some other child or family or busy with something else.  It pains me to think, but the truth is I wasn’t a good mother. 

God’s grace though, it covered me.  All my faults, all my failures, all the mistakes I made, they were nothing in comparison to the grace of God.  It completely amazes me how a perfect God could love so much.

My kids aren’t perfect, but they are good  kids with big hearts.  They have all made it safely into adulthood. They missed so many of the mistakes I made.  Yes, they made some of their own grace needed moments through the years but they know God.  They may not be where I would like them to be in their relationships with Him, but they have their own relationship with God.

And so I rejoice.  And again I rejoice. And even now, I stand in utter awe of His amazing grace.  Not just the grace that saved a wretch like me, but I’m in amazement that His grace extended to every area of my life and now empowers me to live a life beyond where I came from.

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