There are times in our lives, when it feels like the darkness is closing in, and nothing will ever be beautiful again. Life is hard. Life is a struggle and sometimes we are faced with circumstances we could not have predicted, and fear and anger run rampant. But joy… Joy is seeing God for who He is, despite your situation.
Joy is the yearning for more of Him, and less of this world. Joy comes in seeing the things of God, from learning more about God, and from diving deeper into your relationship with Him. When the really hard comes knocking at your door, turn to joy, not fear.
We have had our share of hard… one of our children had to have surgery when he was eleven months old. It was a bad hernia that had to be repaired. We were terrified leading up to his surgery, and especially the morning of. As we let him go into the arms of the nurse who would take him to the O.R., we prayed God would protect him. Little did we know, God was at work, but not in the way we ever would have predicted.
Our son suffered at the hands of his surgeon, and because of it, he will forever be physically altered. When you have a doctor tell you that the surgeon did not do a good job, and also did a few things wrong you feel incredibly vulnerable, angry and extremely sad. Our baby needed a second surgery, which helped some things, but also showed us that what had happened was permanent, and irreversible. He was damaged, and we couldn’t fix it. As a mom, and a “fixer”, knowing this, was just heartbreaking. We decided to seek professional counsel and though we didn’t find an attorney to take our case, I felt this burning drive to fight for my son.
While I was fighting for some justice for him, God was working. While I was battling hate, anger and guilt, God was working. While I was feeling helpless and thinking my sons life would be complicated and maybe even painful because of this doctor, God was working. And a settlement did come…without and attorney.
You see, God doesn’t take a back seat approach and give us directions only before we are about to fall off a cliff. He actually orchestrates the moments in our lives to bring about good to those who love Him.
Not only did He do just that in our case, but He also provided 13 children with life changing surgery because of it. A surgery which cost us so much, was used to provide for those who have so little. We decided to tithe on the money right when it came, to thank God for what He did by giving us a victory, even without an attorney. When I realized what He had done, and what He allowed me to do (I had written a prayer to Him, one year earlier asking Him to provide for us, so we could give to Cure), the joy was literally overwhelming.
Sometimes it takes stepping back, looking at what is, and what was and saying “thank you!” God is at work in your life, even when it’s hard, and even at times that feel so dark and lonely. He is there, holding you, working out things for your good, even though you can’t see it.
But hold on…because when you do see what He has done, it will overwhelm you with his tender mercy and love. Finding joy in the hard is not impossible, but it does take work. Forcing your mind and heart to focus on God, and not circumstances can be a great habit to form. It can be so hard to see outside of the present situation, but God is for you, not against you, and He will work this hard out for your good.