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.