Joy amidst sorrow for that is the point of Christmas
I will make this quick on this Christmas day!
When walking through sorrow and affliction, whatever the situation may be, we often find ourselves thinking like Job, who curses the day he was born and wishes for gloom and deep darkness to claim it (Job 3:3-10).
Oh, how often I slip into this perspective, oh, how often I turn to gloom and deep darkness.
It is also, unfortunately, the same perspective I find others slipping into when dealing with terminal cancer, death, and other challenging situations.
And so I will make this quick for it is Christmas day and you have better things to do. For what is the point of Christmas, Christmas is about the incarnation of Christ, or as the writer of Hebrews put it in Hebrews 12:2 who encouraged us to look “to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus embraced joy over sorrow! And I thank Him every day for it!
Joy over sorrow is so difficult, and be patient with me as I briefly share how Jesus has weaved joy in my life in so many ways in the past 2 years: (I do hope to write on many of these in more details in subsequent blog posts in the upcoming weeks and months.)
~My Family: This past month has been filled with joy and sorrow, but first joy as we welcomed Eryn into our family, marrying my nephew Jake, on December 23. However, December 23, is also the anniversary of my mother’s passing. Click here to read a blog post on my mother. It was also a difficult month as we lost my mother’s sister, my aunt Becky, to cancer. She was a caring and kind woman who played a pivotal role when I was a child.
~ My Church or should I say Churches: I have been so blessed to be welcomed back to the Church of Living Christ in Loysville, PA. The recommenced relationships have brought me so much joy to see this fellowship walking with the Lord. But I would be amiss if I did not mention my church in Maryland, Mountain View Community Church, who although I no longer serve as their pastor, they continue to love, support, and care for me regularly.
~ My Friendships: One of the joys in moving to Maryland to serve as a pastor at MVCC is that it feels like God doubly blessed me in friendships. While I have maintained and continued to enrich my CLC relationship, I have been blessed with even more friendships from my church family in Md. I am doubly blessed! I do plan on writing on this in the future as this has been such a blessing.
~My Music: I have found comfort in artist such as Andrew Peterson, Matt Boswell, and others, but I will write more on this later in another blog post on music and suffering.
~My House: It is an incredible story that the Lord in His Sovereignty saw fit to bring us back to the house where the boys were raised from babies and we have shared so many memories.
~My Community: Not only have I been welcomed back to my church, but the community has also showed their love and support to me in so many ways. I have been blessed by the West Perry Football program and especially blessed by being chosen by the Kolak family as this year’s recipient for the Kolak Family Light Show. The community has come along side us and raised funds for us during this difficult time; what a blessing and provision from the Lord! I have also gained new friends in this journey, Kevin and Pat Kolak have been such a joy and I pray for the Lord’s provision on them and their family! For more information, please see their Facebook page here. Their PayPal is kkolak281. The last day to see the light show is January 1st at 1976 Shermans Valley Rd, Elliottsburg, PA.
~ And finally Jesus: What more is there to say but I am a child of the King, redeemed by His blood, and created to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever!
If you feel compelled to pray for me, please pray…
- Praise the Lord I am still alive after 2 1/2 years of a cholangiocarcinoma diagnosis, the doctors were not expecting me to live more than 6-12 months. Please pray for many more months, years, and decades for me to glorify the Lord, teach my boys, love my wife, and serve the Lord as He provides opportunities.
- My cancer continues to show overall stableness in its progression, please pray for my continued treatment (chemotherapy), that it can continue to be effective. I am on a chemo called Xeloda, typically patients cannot tolerate it or become resistant around 12 months; I am thankful that I have been on it since October of 2021.
- Pray for my heart, mind, and spirit! I find myself at times extremely encouraged, and immediately discouraged and struggling. I know that it is part of the struggle and ask for prayer, thank you!