What Joy?

I had planned to continue sharing about some of our holiday traditions. However, as I read my devotions today, the author spoke of David’s cries and pleas to God. Even though David became a great king, his life was also filled with much tragedy. In Psalms he cried out to God for mercy. Patricia Raybon writes, “David didn’t let his own limits, including sin, stop him from going to God with his need…He’s ready to hear us, especially when we need Him most.”

I realize for many this isn’t the most joyous time of the year. It is a time filled with needs greater than desires.  In our own community last week there was the announcement that over 800 individuals were losing their jobs. When you multiply that by the family members for each of these employees that is several thousand people whose Christmas was altered in only a matter of minutes.

In many of those homes, the trees were bedecked with bight baubles and lights and beneath they were laden with gifts. Now the family budget may be strained from purchasing these gifts. The plans of traveling to visit family may necessitate they remain home. Preparation for the large holiday meal may be altered because of a trip to the local food pantry.

In another home, a visit to the doctor provides a diagnosis of a terminal illness or a life altering disease.  A mother gives birth to a long-awaited child only to realize that precious baby has a serious birth defect. Her child will never be able to run and play with others. As sirens shriek, rescuers race to the auto accident only to realize they are too late; it was fatal.

Hundreds of lives are impacted daily by what occurs in a second. For we all realize within a minute, within those 60 seconds, our lives can go from what was our routine; our normal to being permanently changed and for some destruction beyond repair.

Each of us know someone or we have experienced our own “in a moment” experience which has permanently altered our lives. What do we do? How are we going to continue? Some situations which are traumatic now bring change to our lives, which may genuinely be a gift from God. A lost job can change our future with blessings beyond description. The new job which was God’s gift may provide the family more than ever envisioned. For others the change is so great, their lives will never resume normalcy.

In my own life, it was words which took only seconds to speak, yet negated the past 52 years of my life and amended any future years God will grant me.  Even though God does not always will such events of our lives, He allows them. We must then decide how we will handle the circumstances bestowed upon us. Psalm 6:9 NIV, “The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.”

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