Rejoicing with those who rejoice by Tracy Williamson

Yesterday I posted on Facebook to say that I'd finished a chapter in my writing project and was about to start a new one.  I hadn't posted personally for a while and was taken by surprise when I received many lovely, affirmative comments celebrating my achievement and encouraging me to carry on.  I felt a sudden sense of excitement growing in my heart that I could indeed fulfil my writing project and bring the new book into being.  😀 I knew others were rooting for me and believing in me and even looking forward to reading what I was writing.  

Jesus told us to 'rejoice with those who rejoice' and this was what I was experiencing.  It blessed me so much but it also made me think.  How willing am I to rejoice with others when they have good news?  Do I celebrate uninhibitedly over others' achievements?  

Our emotions and reactions are complex.  When I read in the ACW group the many accounts of new books being published, first copies being received, someone's first book making the best seller list, successful marketing campaigns resulting in many sales and invitations to speak etc...I truly do jump for joy in my heart for each of those people who are celebrating.  There is so much bad news around, it's wonderful to celebrate what God is doing in each of our lives and giftings.  Especially in this area of writing which I am passionate about.  As Christians we are all family, joined together by the love of Christ, so your breakthrough is my breakthrough; your achievement touches me too., your struggle is mine to share, your joy is mine to celebrate.  

And yet it is a strange thing, that while such a huge part of me genuinely loves to celebrate and rejoice with another, I find and I may well be alone in this, that a part of me also gets very insecure and even miserable when I hear of other's good news.  Like many of us I came from a background that wasn't affirming in any way.  I was told repeatedly that I was rubbish, even mental and any dreams I ever dared to express were instantly mocked and derided.

God has healed so much since becoming a Christian but there can be these glimpses of deep buried areas of my inner life that struggle.  Yes I celebrate and am full of joy that you've received an award or written so many words today that your project is nearly complete; but, but what about me? And I find that even while posting my 'like,'  happy face or rejoicing comment, the questions are starting to arise . . .

Why haven't I received awards?  Why aren't I managing to write 1000's of words daily?  Why can't I seem to get the hang of how to do blog tours and market my work effectively in today's culture?  Will I ever make it as a writer?  

When I do post something I've written I then find myself feverishly searching for any 'likes' or comments that may come and feel exultant if some arrive or full of misery if they don't! But really I need to be opening the door of my insecurity to Jesus and asking Him to root me in the vine of His deep approval of me as His beloved child and the one He has destined to bear her own unique fruit for Him:  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you, now remain in my love....'This is to my Father's glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples'(John 15:9,6  

Me bearing fruit, just as you bearing fruit brings glory to Father God.  He is rooting for me to kindle the gifts He has put within me just as He is for you.  His work is awesome in each one of us.  I don't need to react miserably or feel I am inferior.  God's hand is just as much on my life if only I will hear His words of love and receive His 'likes' and see His smiley faces!

Jesus told us to love one another as He loves us.  Rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn is a key part of that giving of love.  In 1 Samuel 18 is the story of the onset of King Saul's jealous compulsion to kill David, the servant he loved.  Saul heard the Israelite women rejoicing over the successful campaign against the evil Philistines.  'Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands.' (1 Samuel 18:7) It says 'Saul was very angry, this refrain galled him.'  So began his tragic journey into jealous madness and murderous intent in the end losing everything that God had put in his hands.

Saul had his own destiny and so do I and all of us.  Saul was already an esteemed king, chosen and appointed by God.  But he chose not to 'remain' in God's love or take hold of His words.  Instead he was galled by another's success and allowed those feelings to rule and reign over all his choices. 

I don't want to be a Saul.  I want to be a child of God, like a weaned child at my mother's breast.  At rest, secure in who I am in Him.  able to jump for joy and celebrate from my heart all that others achieve without fear of what that means for me.  I have my own destiny as a writer and I know that others will surely celebrate every small or large achievement I make, but I choose not to rest my foundations on that but on the wonderful love and affirmation of my Father God and best friend Jesus for I am His beloved.

Tracy Williamson lives in Kent, sharing a home with her ministry partner and best friend Marilyn Baker and their 2 assistance dogs, Arlo Marilyn's Guide dog and Bailey Tracy's Hearing dog.  Tracy loves reading, writing, eating, walking in the country, visiting new places and most of all spending time with friends.  Tracy's latest book, A Beautiful Tapestry - her and Marilyn's combined story, was released in 2020 and Tracy is currently working on her new book about God's transforming work in our lives. 

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