Monthly Archives: September 2015

Morning Joy

Morning Joy

God gave me a beautiful gift this morning, as I was driving down the interstate.

It was 6:30 a.m., and I was in a hurry – it was going to be a long day.  As I rounded the final bend before my exit, a spectacular vista met my eyes:  a pink/purple dawn spread out over a distant blue ridge, which was draped in wispy clouds.  It reminded me of the Smoky Mountains – of home.

“Quick, get out the camera and snap a picture!”, I told myself.  No.  Not a good idea at 70 mph.  Just enjoy.  Soak in the beauty of the moment (and try to keep an eye on the road)!

That sunrise was a gift at the beginning of a difficult day.  It was as if God was saying,

“I am here.  All is well.  Enjoy.”

He says that to me a lot, actually.  In all kinds of ways.  Too many times, I don’t see.  Or I see, but I don’t stop to give thanks.  (I’m a slow learner.)

You know, on those days that I do notice God’s ever-abundant gifts, and choose to thank Him, something wonderful happens.  JOY settles over me like mist on a mountain.

In Your presence is fullness of joy!  Psalm 16:11

Consider It All Joy

9:18:15 Consider it Joyby Lydia Floren

Being a doctor, I see many advantages to being cared for by a physician who has lived a few years (well more than a few, but who’s counting ☺).  We “older” docs have personal experience with bad knees, dimming vision, pneumonia, colitis, hemorrhoids.  I know, I know. TMI.

I can’t say I like being sick, or having surgery – nothing makes one appreciate good health like infirmity.  But because I have “been there,” I can better help my patients through their difficulties.

When I live through – not just observe – an illness, I have a much better understanding of it.  For someone like me, this is particularly good news.  My “empathy” gene is not particularly dominant:  experiencing pain unmasks its expression.

Like Paul, we can “consider it all joy” when we go through hard times.  Not only will God strengthen us and guide us through it, He will use it to help someone else.

Difficulties open our hearts to compassion.

With God, no experience is wasted.


And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.  James 1:2

Thou has enlarged me when I was in distress.  Psalm 4:1 KJV

“Be set free not from suffering but rather through suffering.”  -George Matheson

The Meeting

The Meetingby Lydia Floren

Imagine: You are involved in a big building project. Not only are you working there everyday, but you are living on-site, too. The venture is a huge undertaking. So much so, that the Architect, a world-renowned expert, also lives and works on the premises.

Every morning as you awake, your mind floods with all the things that need to be done. Your mental list is so long, you hardly know where to start. You drag out of bed and clamber down the hall in search of coffee, already sorting through the priorities in your mind.

As you sip your java and start committing your list to paper, you remember, “Oh, yeah, I have that daily 7 AM meeting with the Architect…. Do I really have time for that?”

There have been days when you’ve made it to the meeting, and others when you haven’t.

“Still,” you say to yourself, “The day does go so much better when I do make that meeting.”

He helps you focus on what’s most important. He trouble-shoots difficulties you have encountered, and helps find solutions. And, more often than not, when you make that daily meeting, you end up working the rest of your day with Him, enjoying His company and learning from His expertise.

“You know,” you think, “On the days I make that meeting I not only accomplish more, but I have more fun doing it.”

Why does that surprise you?

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me. For I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11