The most difficult part of the journey up that mountain of grief is done. During Holy Week, we meditate on Philippians 4—peace brings joy—packed with Hallelujah Chorus verses full of hope and promise as we look past the cross to Easter joy.
…stand firm in the Lord…be of the same mind… Philippians 4:1b, 2b NRSV
Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today.
Start with Scripture. Paul finally reveals why he is writing to the Philippian church: Two women are fighting, and the church is divided. Today, read Philippians 4:1–3 from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top of the chapter, page 155.
These three verses are packed with instructions. What do you need to hear today?
Read Chapter 22 of Reclaiming Joy. What parts of Ella’s story, if any, do you identify with?
We are often praised for being “strong,” as if to be “weak” is a character flaw, but in this context to be strong is to be resolute, to have resilience. Do you consider yourself a resilient person?
If you are suddenly single, who was the “strong” partner in your marriage? Has that loss pushed you to develop strengths you didn’t know you have, or has it pushed you over the edge?
On pages 156, 157 Ella quotes the words of Isaiah and of John Claypool, a 20th century minister. Are you grateful sometimes just to stay on your feet? Have you ever considered that a gift of God?
You may not have a business to run as Ella did, but every family faces challenges and threats from time to time. Are your family’s bonds strong? What can you do to strengthen them? Are there situations that you can’t change but must accept?
What is the lesson that you have learned today?
What do you need to do to move toward joy?
What three things are you thankful for today? What moments of joy have you experienced in the last 24 hours? Take time to say, Thank you, God, for…
For an introduction to these 28 meditations leading to Easter, please read The Journey to Easter Joy: Daily Meditations, Letting Scripture Speak.
© Ella Wall Prichard, 2019