“Rejoice in the Lord: Finding Joy and Peace During Turmoil” – Zack Fugate
Rejoice in the Lord: Finding Joy and Peace During Turmoil
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at Hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”-Philippians 4:4-6
I sat on the edge of the bed holding my father’s hand watching him and my mom look at one another. The look in their eyes communicated so many different emotions: love, gratitude, sadness, hope, fear, fulfilment, friendship, and adoration. It was in that moment that I realized the depth of what it means to live a life together in marriage that is God-honoring. While I was dealing with my own emotions of saying goodbye to my father as he was making his was home to be with the Lord, I sat in awe of the kind of love that existed between my parents because of their love for Jesus. And while much can be said about my father’s final moments walking this earth, the reality of the pain and turmoil that follows the loss of one’s best friend and other half cannot be ignored. There are no two ways about it…my mom lost her other half.
You may be reading and wondering where this is heading and why such sadness is a point of focus…it is because Jesus Christ knows every single pain and sadness that any of us can even fathom. In the final moments of his life, all of the sadness and sin from this world were exacted onto him at once. That is to say, there is no emotion, sadness, or pain we can experience that our Savior does not know intimately.
In the days and weeks that have followed my father’s passing, my mom has experienced immense feelings of turmoil, questioning, anger, confusion, and loss. However, there has been a still small voice whispering to her every moment of every day. You see…the Lord is at hand! While she has experienced the aforementioned emotions on an intense level, she has more so experienced the peace and comfort of Jesus’ love for her. The Lord is providing her with constant reminders, both small and large, that she is in his hands. He has provided her with a new home that is 10 minutes away from our home, with friends and loved ones praying for her and checking on her constantly, and with the love and support of children and grandchildren that love Jesus Christ. But perhaps the greatest reminder of Jesus’ love is how my father left this world. My father was not afraid, and he was eager to be with his Lord and Savior. He constantly encouraged each of us to praise Jesus for his life and to share Jesus with the world. Specifically, other than, “I love you…”, the last thing my father said to me and my sister as he held our faces in his hands was, “Please evangelize. Share Jesus with everyone you can.”
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:7
Brothers and sisters, Jesus is the light in the darkness. We ought not be anxious, to worry, or to live in fear and sadness because the Lord is at hand! The Word of God is clear…the peace we receive from him surpasses our understanding…it doesn’t make sense…but we must cling to it and rejoice in Him!
Your brother in Christ, Zack Fugate