Tuesday, 24 August 2021
Title: Rejoice always
By: Dr. Hew Fen Lee
1 Thess 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Madam TF has been my patient for quite a few years. She has just celebrated her 80th birthday. She has had more medical issues and hospital admissions in the last few years than the number of letters Paul has written in the New Testament. On top of that she had to look after her daughter who had gone through a major surgery, despite the fact that she herself was needing a wheelchair to move around. This was not helped by the recent death of her son. Despite all these events plus the pandemic she would sit in front of me in the clinic recounting joyfully the things that she had to give thanks to God for. She would tell me how thankful she was that her grandson has taken a day off to take her to run errands; how her church group had made her favourite dish for her birthday; that she could now walk with a frame for another 10m at home…..All these were blessings from above and she would joyfully acknowledge and share with others. She then presented me with a thank you card which she made herself. In it she copied Psalm 23 in Chinese in clear and firm strokes – a reflection of her faith in God, perhaps even clearer and firmer.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church which he founded during his second missionary journey. The young church faced opposition and persecution from non believing Jews almost immediately and Paul and Silas had to leave town secretly and hastily to escape harm (Acts 17:1-10). It would have been quite daunting for the new Christians to face such violent persecution so early in their faith. Yet they have remained steadfast in their faith. Paul was writing to encourage them to live spirit filled lives in Christ by always rejoicing, continually praying and be thankful at all times in all circumstances. Yes in all circumstances especially difficult and trying times. We are to see beyond those circumstances and see God behind those dark clouds and stormy weather.
Madam TF’s heart and kidney function were not as good as her ever beaming smile would suggest. I adjusted her medication and advised her on the timing of her medications. As she left she thanked me and as she would do each time she visited me, reminded me that she would have me in her prayers. I hope that the change of medication would make her better. One thing was for sure, her visit that day was certainly therapeutic to me in reminding me to rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.
Father please make us rejoice and be thankful for the blessings you have given us each day, some so small that we hardly have noticed, some so mundane that we have taken for granted, some so trivial that perhaps we don’t think it is necessary to give thanks for. Please help us to pray and yearn for your face to shine upon us each day. In Jesus‘ name we ask, Amen.
TF女士多年以来一直是我的病人。她刚刚庆祝了80岁的生日。在过去几年里，她的健康问题和入院的次数超过保罗在新约里所写书信的数量。除此之外，她还需要照顾动了大手术的女儿，虽然她自己需要依靠轮椅行动；最近她儿子的逝世更是雪上加霜。尽管发生了这些事，再加上大流行疫情，她还是会在诊所里坐在我的面前，喜乐地数算她要向上帝感恩的事。她会告诉我她是多么的感恩，因为她的孙子请了一天假带她处理杂事；她教会的团体为她的生日准备了她最喜欢的菜肴；她现在可以在家使用助行架多走10米了……所有这些都是上天的恩赐，她欣然感谢并与他人分享。然后她送给我一张她亲手制作的感谢卡。在里头，她以清晰和坚定的笔迹用中文抄写了诗篇23篇 – 这反映了她对上帝的信心，也许更清晰、更坚定。