I have a friend who is new to cancer and she was asking another friend, who's walked that path awhile, for tips. Now I know she was thinking of tips for battling things like mouth sores...but she got so much more! In a long list of responses from others, this gem stood out: "Count it all joy!" I read that and stopped.
You see, my friend, Laura Dill, has walked this cancer road for a good, long time. She's had chemo treatments, pet scans galore, hair falling out--the works! But she has walked like a champion! Her motto is "Keep Calm & Eat Cupcakes!" She dresses up for her chemo treatments and treats them like the opportunity of a lifetime. She thanks God for them. She prays for divine appointments before she goes. When she fears, she rallies the troops to pray for her--and apologizes for her fear. Her goal is to be a chemo conqueror, not a chemo survivor. She's faced death square in the face and admitted she may go there some day...but not today. She loves and verbally appreciates beautiful things and fills her facebook page with encouragement. Laura is living...not dying. And she's filling the hearts of others with courage and offering them her own strength in the midst of her suffering.
So some, who don't know her, may have seen her response to our friend as flippant or trite. But to those of us who know her, that response gave us all pause. Wow! Count it all joy...when your hair falls out. Count it all joy...when you are nauseated. Count it all joy...when you're having chemo. Count it all joy...when you don't have the energy to enjoy your grandchildren.
Count it all joy...when you have more month than money. Count it all joy...when you've lost a job. Count it all joy...when your friends talk behind your back. Count it all joy...when you've missed a golden opportunity. Count it all joy...when you've lost everything. Count it ALL joy!
Laura, thank you for loving Jesus so well in front of the rest of us. Thank you for your beautiful example. Thank you for teaching us how to count it all joy. Those words were profound to me this week--and they will be ringing in my ears and rolling around in my heart for quite some time.