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I’m writing this on September 11, 2022. It’s not a day that I associate with being joyful.
I can remember the feelings of dread and uncertainty I felt on September 11, 2001 as the attacks on America unfolded. Those feelings still stir my soul 21 years later, and the impact of that day will never go away.
There’s another reason I should be sorrowful today. September 11th is my Mom’s birthday. She would be 94 years old today, but passed away on March 19, 2022. It’s the first of her birthdays that she’s not here to smile, enjoy some cake, and celebrate with friends and family.
Philippians 4:4 tells us what we should be doing instead of feeling sad, pensive or mournful.
'Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! '
This was written by the Apostle Paul as advice to the people of Philippi to stop their internal bickering, but it also has application to all of us in times when our thoughts turn dark and sad. The famed English preacher Charles Spurgeon explained it this way:
“What a gracious God we serve, who makes delight to be a duty, and who commands us to rejoice! Should we not at once be obedient to such a command as this? It is intended that we should be happy.”
So keep Philippians 4:4 in mind today and every day. It is our duty to be happy and rejoice in all that God has given us. If there are tears today, let them be short-lived and replaced with joy that we have honored those who went before us by keeping their memory in our loving hearts and minds.