Rain and the Fight for Joy

It is another rainy day here in the Pacific NW.  This isn't an uncommon reality for those of us who live here.  For the most part,  we don't realize how dreary it is until the sun comes out to remind us how wonderful it can be.  It is very green here in the spring time with other colors mixed in.  And when the sun does shine the colors seem to become even more vibrant.  Green happens to be my favorite color and I wait to see the trees leaf out in the various shades of perfection.  I thought at one time of trying to count the different shades of green that I saw but gave up as there were too many.

It has been said that here in the PNW depression for many is a problem.  Too much gray and not enough vitamin D that comes naturally from the yellow orb in the sky.  And yet we stay here in this soggy climate for reasons known to ourselves.  When we lived in Maryland I had a friend ask me what it was like to live on the other side of the continent.  My reply was, "When it is good there is no place like it, absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.  The downside is that it rains a lot." In truth, that really isn't so bad when you consider that other parts of the United States have some major things happening that bring such devastation (although we do have Mt. St. Helens in our back yard).  I suppose that one tends to love and appreciate where they are planted.  We can complain about it but outsiders better beware as we will defend this region of our abode like a she-bear does her cubs.

What does any of this have to do with joy?  Well, one might consider that it takes effort to wake up on a gray day with a spring in your step and a song in your heart.  That might be why we in the Pacific NW are such coffee snobs.  We love our cup of liquid sunshine.  Just give us a few and soon we will be smiling and ready for the day.  But seriously, for some, it does take great effort to find that joy that will get you through the bad news that you receive on a rainy day.  This is why finding joy needs to come from something other than one's surroundings or what we can conjure up inside ourselves.  Ultimate joy comes from a Person and not from the warmth of the sun's ray.  Maybe this is one of the perks in living in such a soggy place.  On those rainy days we are forced to find joy in something other than our surroundings and how we feel.  But make no mistake ~ this can be a battle.

Yesterday Dan took me to my appointment with the gynecology oncologist.  The sun was kind of shining when we went in.  On our way out of the appointment it started to rain.  Although, not terrible news (it always can be worse) it wasn't the news that we had hoped for.  It turns out that there were cancer cells in the margins of the colon that was removed.  So, the next step is to get a PET scan to see if there are any other cancer cells present.  Either way the doctor is recommending chemotherapy just to be sure.  Like I said ~ not the news I wanted to hear.  So,  on this gray rainy day in April I am fighting for joy and looking to the One who gives generously.  Psalm 16:11 says, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  Everything that is needful He has already given in Christ.  This brings great joy and peace recognizing that He is before all things, and in Him all things are held together (Colossians 1:17).

I'll leave off with a hymn that has meant much to me through the years.  Here it is:

Whate'er my God ordains is right: his holy will abideth;
I will be still whate'er he doth, and follow where he guideth.
He is my God; though dark my road, he holds me that I shall not fall:
wherefore to him I leave it all.

Whate'er my God ordains is right, he never will deceive me;
he leads me by the proper path; I know he will not leave me.
I take, content, what he hath sent; his hand can turn my grief away,
and patiently I wait his day.

Whate'er my God ordains is right: though now this cup, in drinking,
may bitter seem to my faint heart, I take it, all unshrinking,
My God is true; each morn anew sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
and pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate'er my God ordains is right: here shall my stand be taken;
though sorrow, need, or death be mine, yet am I not forsaken.
My Father's care is round me there; he holds me that I shall not fall:
and so to him I leave it all.


  1. Still praying ;o))

  2. Love you so much, and you encourage me in your strong faith in our living God with the knowledge that He is also our loving God. When all else fails, stand! I don't feel like we are having to just stand, but that He is loving holding us through this. What comfort, what joy, what assurance. We are not alone, but held by the powerful, loving arms of our creator.
    Your sister, Jan

  3. Reading your updates and praying for you, Judy. Your faith is building my faith. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Oh dear sister. I will pray for you more and more. I was hoping that you would not need the Chemo, but as the hymn said, "He ordains what is right". You are giving us strength and encouraging us as you go through this. Thank you for that. I am always here and if you need anything you know how to reach me. My arms are wrapped around you tight on top of God's beautiful hands. It's okay to rest in Him, let out your emotions to Him. Continue to praise Him and give Him glory & honor... I love you Judy

    2 Corinthians 1-3
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

  5. I love you more than words can say. I am going through exactly what you are going through with my dad. CTscan, biopsy, insertion of port, 2 Pet scans, 1 session of chemo down. Don't know results of the Pet scan as of yet. I wish I could be with you. Know that I think of you daily as I mirror your every move. love you.

  6. 4/18/2012
    Your brother Danny;
    Meet with Mom, and we talked of things. Earlier I called Jan. She talked of your writing and updated reports. Oh, and, it's Dave's birthday. Hard to comprehend the distance.

    As I remember...we were all there; you were jumping and waving. Back to the game, it's WHS and you were a cheerleader.

    Sometime later a young man came along; something about achieving honors in Boy Scouts. I wondered if he would last.

    Do you remember, it wasn't that long ago, I came by? Well, it was Dave and me that followed dad in contracting, but there you were; had most of the wall torn out. Just started you said.

    I guess dad made his nod, there was some sewing going on and the church for an afternoon wedding. Mom told me years later, "I think the wedding was almost $600."

    There was a guitar and the songs you sang. And then, homeschooling, pruning the orchard, remodeling; and then, south to OR and school.

    Others want to write so I begin my summary in Proverbs 31:29-31. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

    It was the phone call that was difficult. I was calling, but it seemed as though your concern was about me and things here. And so, almost interrrupting, I began to talk, but then, silence....I asked of your health. Wanting to say the right words, common to everyone; uplifting, and a word of encouragement. I guess I had not really rehearsed enough. Finally my own summary; I can hear the words and my eyes are dripping on my laptop. "I LOVE YOU JUDY."

    Next time we get together, I'll be the one cheering (minus the jumping). "At the city gate", it's a place of entrance and recognition of leaders known throughout the city. Because of you, I am beginning to understand Rev. 19:7. Christ is coming for His church. Your life has shown me a path to make ready. The fine linen, it's the righteous acts of the saints.

    I'll be watching for your writings. Don't worry so much about the words. We're watching your life, a tremendous story.

    Love, Danny

  7. Thinking of you today, Judy. How are you doing this week? Continuing to pray.