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What Time is Rehearsal?

(ROCKWALL, TX — March 5, 2018) I was reminded this week of how important it is for us to decide how we are going to respond to bad news before it happens.  I guess we should ‘practice’ receiving that dreaded midnight phone call or rehearsing our words as we see the look on the doctor’s face as we wait for test results.

In the Christian culture we call these things ‘tests’ or ‘trials’.  They are designed to strengthen our faith, not so much as a result of the outcome, but to encourage us to remember God’s character after all the dust has settled.  I don’t like this part.  God’s Word clearly says that even the tragedies of my life have purpose.  Even the tests I fail lead to endurance.  Not the nail-biting or jaw clenching endurance.  That may be called resolve or guts or grit.

The endurance exemplified through the trial-tested Saint is laced with a word we call joy.  Joy comes from something that has been deposited deep within us to the point that external happenings cannot reach it.  It occasionally bubbles up and can be seen externally, but usually radiates through the skin, almost to the point of making someone glow.  Have you seen it?

Those who do not have a faith to fall on call these things mistakes or accidents.  Even the unpracticed disciple reacts with destructive leanings.  Even for those with great faith experience brokenness and measurable sorrow & grief.  But we do not grieve as those who have no hope.  As our faith is tried, Herculean strength expands right under the surface.  Facing each day, wanting to stay in bed, sees us putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, one night at a time, until the muscles can be flexed.  Joyful endurance is promised.  It is experienced…in time.

You can call it asking for trouble.  You can call it morbid.  But I see it as role-playing with my Acting Coach, my Voice Teacher, my Choral Director, my Trip Planner.  I can say to Him without condemnation what would be in my mind if loss were to occur…earth-shattering loss.  I would rehearse with Him, “You give.  You take away.  I’m blessing Your Name.”  I’m free to fill in those blanks with scenarios that I want to NEVER occur, but I’m here to say to assure you that, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  A good word!

By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.

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