Somersault of Joy
Really, God? “Count it ALL joy?”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with that tiny little passage in Scripture that tells us to “count it all joy.” Theologically, I understand that we are wise to acknowledge God’s sovereign hand in all we do and in all that happens. He is there to pick up the pieces and get us through anything that comes our way. I understand that we don’t necessarily thank Him for tragedy, illness, hardship, and other common consequences of living life. Rather, we thank Him for and are joyful for the fact that He is with us and will work all things for good. I believe that.
But recently, I looked back on something that was pretty negative at the time which I found myself counting as joy. Daughter Kelsey was 37 weeks pregnant with her first baby when she found out that the precious little gift was frank breech. I didn’t know what in the world that meant. But basically it was a technical term for the baby being head up instead of head down and one step further, it meant the baby was pretty much folded in half with little to no chance of turning for a successful, natural childbirth. Pretty devastating news for a new mom who didn’t relish being cut open for a Cesarean section birth.
But we also knew that with God all things are possible. After much prayer and some seriously strenuous and weird exercise maneuvers by Mom, baby Ivey Kate turned a nearly impossible somersault to create a head down, ideal position for birth. Yay, God!
Here’s where the “counting it all joy” comes into play. Perhaps because of the former frank breech position, the doctor was extra cautious in ordering another subsequent sonogram to determine if, in fact, the baby wasn’t growing at a normal rate. That day, at 38 weeks gestation, the doctor determined that induction would be wise. 28 hours later, little Ivey Kate made her debut into the world at 5 pounds 10 ounces. To have stayed in the womb full-term might have had dire consequences since she had stopped growing and might not be receiving adequate nutrients.
We count it ALL joy. The frank breech position. The grueling exercises. The almost impossible turning in the womb. The extra sonogram. The wise doctor. The healthy birth. So yes, once again, God has taught me to trust Him. Trust that He’s in every situation and that He wants me to have a joyful attitude even when things are not going as I had hoped or planned. He is sovereign. “Help me, Lord, to next time remember to count it ALL joy because you are in control of everything. Not me. Not nature. Not doctors. You, God. Thank You, Father, for Your trustworthiness, faithfulness, and infinite love for Your people…everyone of us. And Baby Ivey Kate? Wow! Thank You for the gift of her life.”