Fruits of the Spirit: Joy in the face of great sorrow

April 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

Grandma Ella was a feisty lady.  She loved a good joke, a good laugh, and a good piece of pie.  She referred to all of her neighbors in the senior center where she lived as “that old woman.”  She frequently called my brother to tell him that the grass in her yard was waving at her – a signal that he better get himself over there, stat, and bring the mower.

Grandma had every right to be bitter.  Her later years were marked by significant loss.  She’d watched loved ones die of cancer: Grandpa.  Her daughter.  Her son-in-law.  Her grandson.  She’d worried about another daughter’s successful battle with breast cancer.

Yet her sense of humor remained in tact, even through the end of her life.  I never – ever – once heard her wonder “why me?” or denounce God for the bad things that had happened in her life.  Don’t get me wrong; I know she was lonely, and tired, and often sad.

But she didn’t let it defeat her.  Instead, she chose to focus on getting through each day as best she could.  She wept sometimes, but she also laughed.  And she focused on the reward God had waiting for her at the end.

Joy is often difficult to find in the midst of great sorrow.  How do we rejoice in the gifts God has given us when some of our greatest gifts are ripped away?

The truth is, I can’t fully speak to this topic.  I have yet to experience searing, gut-burning loss in my life.  Sure, I’ve had bad things happen, but I haven’t had to handle an event that shakes your very being to its core.

All I can give you is what God’s word promises us.  He tells us that no matter how much sorrow we experience here, it will soon be a distant memory.  Isaiah 51:11 proclaims:

The ransomed of the Lord will return.  They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.  Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Have joy, my friends!  For God has wonderful things planned for us.

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Entry filed under: Bible study, Fruits of the Spirit.

Fruits of the Spirit: Joy in Serving Our Families Fruits of the Spirit: Peace with His plan

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