Published October 11, 2016

Shelia Shares
"Weeping & Rejoicing"

Romans 12 includes a passage of Scripture that is subtitled in my Bible as "Behave like a Christian." Included in that passage is Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."

I remember a pastor's comment from many years ago. He said, "We often find it easier to weep with those who weep than to rejoice with those who rejoice." I think there is a lot of truth to that.

Jeff Bumgardner, worship pastor and Dove award-winning songwriter, recently faced a life-changing situation. His 10-year-old daughter experienced some sight problems at church and then became unresponsive. Doctors quickly determined that she had a brain aneurism and, after spending a few days in ICU, she died. I hurt for this family. No parent should have to face this.

I watch news accounts of the devastation from Hurricane Matthew. It devastated Haiti, a country filled with poor people. How will they recover from another storm and why should they have to lose everything again? I hurt that it seems so unfair. I can't imagine their devastation.

We first met Mike Upright when he sang with Standing Tall. His wife just received the diagnosis of ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, for which there is no known cure. She hurts. He hurts. And there are no answers that any of us can give. I weep with those who weep.

But, do I find it as easy to rejoice with those who rejoice?

Weddings are an exciting time. But, I know single women who for years have wanted to find that special person and have a family. Some struggle with thoughts of "why not me?" Some avoid weddings altogether. Others attend the wedding, but deep inside can't rejoice with those who rejoice.

Cheryl Wright is a friend through WCLC radio in Jamestown, Tennessee. Her precious little granddaughter is just a month old. When she shows me pictures of that little doll, do I rejoice with her – or do I think how sad it is that I still don't have a grandchild? (And, Cheryl, just to be clear, I do rejoice with you.)

Sometimes jobs seem thankless and difficult. Can we rejoice when someone is honored for their work?

Just last week, we found out that Paul is to receive a Southern Gospel Radio Impact Award today from the Gospel Music Association. (The original notification email sent in August apparently never got through to us.) Paul plans to be in Nashville today (October 11, 2016) to accept his Dove Award. It's been almost 37 years since he dreamed up the idea and then started The Gospel Greats program. It has been more than 36 years of interviewing countless artists. It has been 36 years of pulling and editing audio, choosing songs, writing scripts, editing and engineering a new program every single week. He's done this faithfully during sickness (mononucleosis, hepatitis, broken bones, allergic reactions and more), family deaths, financial struggles and long, long hours.

We are honored and humbled by this Dove Award. Can you rejoice with us?

Lord, help us all to weep with those who weep. Help us to rejoice with those who rejoice. Help us to care about the people You place in our lives.

- Shelia

Comments on this? shelia@thegospelgreats.com.

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