HOPE. PEACE. JOY. LOVE.
Monday, December 14
Blair Zavodny, member of RPC since 2003
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. - Philippians 4:4
As the Advent season approaches, we are often reminded of the significance of the words peace, hope, joy, and love. Each of these words conveys deep meaning noted throughout scripture, used as a core reminder in the lessons of the bible. In my own life as I contemplate the upcoming Christmas season, I am inspired to embrace the joy of it all.
This past year was a journey of faith for me in a time of personal sorrow after tragic losses that affected my entire family. Through this journey, I rediscovered that even in the depths of great loss, joy can also be found. Sorrow will turn into joy, John 16:16.
Last year I experienced the profound loss of my precious Aunt to cancer. My Aunt has always been a significant part of my life since I was born -- a beautiful, warm, loving, and passionate soul who could light up a room with her mere presence; a central peacemaker that brought our entire family together throughout the years for all different occasions, but especially the Christmas season. I prayed throughout this time, grieving the loss of her life that was seemingly cut short, too soon and with little time for any closure of a goodbye. I tried to make some sense of it all and to see beyond the dark moments when I felt the most lost in her absence. There were constant reminders everywhere of my Aunt and the memory of her playful spirit, her passion for life, the love of her family, and of course the joy she brought to us all.
When you're filled with the joy of the Lord, then you can experience His peace, hope, and love. Joy is the vessel that leads to the other three. Though I have had great loss in my life, joy was found as well. God tells us, you have pain now, but I will see you again and no one will take your joy from you, John 16:16. I will rejoice this Advent season and thank the Lord for giving me the peace and joy of knowing my Aunt is smiling down on me from heaven, watching me find my own joy through the love of Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending us your son Jesus, our savior, as a humble baby born in a manger. Help us to see you always in our daily lives so that we may have your joy in our hearts now and forever. Amen