Count it all JOY

I work in a place that surrounds me with death. Not in the morgue or the ER and I’m not a grave-digger or a funeral director; I work in hospice.

These groups have a lot in common, but I want to talk about one fundamental difference. In hospice we meet families on the brink of a major tragedy: Someone close to them is dying.

How is it possible to “count it all joy” when someone signs on to Hospice?

To count it all joy is to understand what God intended for us to bring to each calamity. As the flesh brings destruction, the spirit is supposed to bring joy.  That joy is not limited to the expectation of eternity, which is awesome in and of itself!  Those who are left after the trial have been placed in a unique position: They can either sit and have a pity party or they can share their story with someone who’s going through a similar trial.

You see, we are allowed the experiences we have for the purpose of growth. Not just growth for us, but for everyone in our scope of influence. We need growth. We need both good and bad experiences. We need to share our stories.

I remember last Mother’s Day, talking to a friend of mine who buried her mother the previous year. I asked how she was doing and she said, “not good.” I asked what she was experiencing and she just looked at me with tears in her eyes and gave me a big, long hug. Afterwards she asked me a favor.

She said, “will you go and give that hug to your mom and tell her you love her and thank her for being your mom?” She said that she only wished that she could do that for her mom one more time.

Boy, I saw motherhood in a different light that day. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate my mom, in fact we are a very loving family. However, sometimes even though we assume a person knows how we feel, it’s always a good practice to let them know … and let them know often.

I did exactly what my friend asked me and I don’t want to spoil the results for you. Please go to whoever is special in your life and hug them as if it will be the last time. And then let them know how special they are to you.

It will change the way you see the world.