Tag Archives: joy


CANDLE OF HOPE
God’s candle blazes in the dark
among the shadows, cold and stark.
It sends its warmth against the chill
of death that lurks, waiting to kill
the seeking heart. But this bright light
draws close to seeking hearts with might
to fill with light where there is none.
It lights the way, bids seekers come
to find the kingdom of Jesus Lord
who fights the dark with Truth’s sword.
The dark dispelled, the light is cast,
God’s hand will hold the seeker fast.
2016

Life is never easy. About the time it settles down, something else happens.

Last December, I totaled my car and dealt with a sprained shoulder. My kind sister gave me her car, old and needing some repair, but got me around. After a couple months, for various reasons, I gave it to my daughter for her son. It wasn’t that I was ungrateful, but decided it was the best procedure for me. I asked my sister if it hurt that I gave away her gift to me. She said no, it had a good home.

Last June, I fell and sprained my right (I am right handed) wrist. It is hard even to write. At times it feels like it is healing, but the past couple weeks, it feels as if the healing has stalled.

The arthritis in my knee and hip have been acting up. I am grateful for the exercises I have. They help.

Now my kind sister tells me she has lymphoma. My baby sister. I lost my dad in 1978, my brother in 2012 (my younger brother) and my mom in 2014. My heart grieves for my baby sister as I pray for her healing.

So what do I do in the face of trials and suffering? It is easy to let the suffering get me down and honestly, at times it does. But I know God has a purpose for it. I live in a broken world. I reflect that Jesus came to a dark world, caught in the enemy’s grip to bring life. Jesus’s suffering gave life to those who embraced Him. Then He rose, and I see His promise to me is real. I am eternal being and He points me to life eternally in joy.

But how does that speak to my trials and suffering? Just as Jesus suffering brings comfort and life because He understands what I am feeling, so my suffering can help others experience life.  I wrote a poem book of my emotions on the deaths of my loved ones. As I give it to people who are experiencing loss of loved ones, they express how grateful they are. One lady said she knew I understood; I had been there. I see life birthing into people’s hearts through my understanding.

I see my own understanding grow when someone ministers to me through their trials as they put their arms around me and give me their love. Or even as I watch their lives and see how they deal with their situation.

It will never get better until Jesus returns and sets all things right, fulfilling His promises to His people. This time on earth seems long to us, but as I get older, I see how short it is. Then He will dry my tears and as I live with Him, I will be able to serve Him in joy.

Meanwhile, I take stock of my blessings and ask God to give me a grateful heart for His many gifts. Key to living through my sufferings.

SHADOW

I am meant to cast the shadow of the one who created me. So often I do not. Often, I think the sun shines on me so I can be the one who is the most important. But the true meaning and joy of living comes when I realize that the shadow people see as God’s light shines on me is His shadow–the One who created and loves me, the Jesus whose birth we celebrate!


IS THANKSGIVING PAST?

Thanksgiving Day is over. Is thanksgiving over?

I ask myself, am I continuing to be thankful? Scripture tells me to be thankful at all times! One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

What? In all circumstances? When I tear my meniscus and have pain no matter what I do? When I get strep throat and then a cold? When my finances don’t seem to be what they should?

But then I am reminded that God’s will is that I be thankful. And for that, He gives me peace and joy. Oh, things don’t automatically become better (though they may), but I know that He is listening to me and I can trust Him. He is in charge. After all, He is not my personal servant boy, waiting on hand to give me whatever I ask, or my Aladdan with a magic lamp. He is the Creator of the Universe who showed His love and care about 2000 years ago when He came to earth to die for me!  Through that, He has opened heaven’s door to me. This life is so short (though in suffering it doesn’t seem so!) and ahead of me lies heaven since I have embraced Jesus as God eternal and my Savior.

So I ask myself, am I continuing to be thankful? I must admit, too often I am not. But when I come back to God’s will for me and express thanks for the marvelous gift of coming as man to earth (an event we are soon to celebrate), plus the gifts He has given me, He gives joy and peace. This life with all its sorrows and pain will soon come to an end and then the decision I have made about Jesus will bring joy and peace forever.

December sadness

Three loved ones
Three loved ones

my husband
My Michael

 

 

 

 

 

As Christmas approaches, I have been experiencing such a feeling of sadness. I understand why. This is the Christmas without my precious mom. She went home to be with the Lord in May. But I think there is more. December 18 would be my 49th anniversary if my husband was still living. He has been gone almost eight years, but I guess I’ll never stop having those moments when I miss him. And I think I am still a little tender about my brother’s dying in August 2012. And although my Daddy died in 1998, there are times I still miss him. So goes grieving. It catches us by surprise when those moments come. I guess it shouldn’t, but doesn’t it always?

All that makes me think of my poor little Mama. She and Daddy were married almost 56 years when she lost him. And then to lose a child, no matter how old, was terrible for her. I think it must have been harder than losing Daddy, if that is possible. Children shouldn’t die before their parents, but all through history, they have. My daughter almost lost her 2 year old son three years ago. But we were so thankful that we still have him and he is a normal, active 5 year old, full of mischief and life.

As I have thought a lot about losses this month. I realize that under my sadness, I still have joy. Not the giggly kind that is happiness, but the deep kind that holds onto hope. I think of the message of Christmas and the gift of Christmas: the baby, God in human form, who came to give us hope for each day, strength to go on and to know that the best is not in this life, but in the one to come where we will never have to say goodbye.