"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
This passage reminds me of a song I learned in catechism classes as Lutheran back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The song is based in St. Paul’s closing in his letter to the Philippians and is sung in a round - here is a short Youtube video of the song, pretty much as I remember it:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:4-8)
So, what does this mean to me, here and now? I expressed to my professor a little frustration after seeing the remaining milestones in this terminal degree. Initially, I thought I would be done by December 2021, but the schedule changed and put my posted “final class” to end in January 2022. Then, I received a call from the counseling office and she shared with me the milestones remaining – and there is no way I will be fully completed with this degree by January – but I am still hopeful for Spring 2022. These passages remind me to continue to rejoice in the Lord, not just when I think things are going well – but ALWAYS. I am not to be anxious about what is laid before me, but trust in the Lord that His peace surpasses all understanding and will keep my mind in Christ Jesus.