Are you Struggling with Finding Joy in Crisis?
Joy Comes from within our Soul
It is a gift from God. It is knowing that no matter what is going on around us, we can trust God to make everything work for good. Happiness depends on what happens to us. If our circumstances are good and we have no problems, we may have a feeling of happiness. Joy is having the spirit of God within us filling us with love, joy and peace.
It was a beautiful autumn day on November 9, 2015. My husband Richard was out on some land bow hunting. He looked forward to hunting all year long so I was thrilled it was such a gorgeous day. Around 4 pm he walked up on our deck looking as though he was having a heart attack. He had fallen from a tree stand that morning. We went to the emergency room to see if he had any broken bones. The X-rays showed four fractures in his spine. He was rushed in an ambulance to Columbia Hospital over a hundred miles away. After a couple days he began coughing up blood. His lungs had been damaged. He was placed in ICU where they ventilated and sedated him. Before he was placed in ICU we both remembered the scripture that said, “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”
Neither of us Knew what was Going to Happen
Richard’s life was spared several times in the two months of hospitalization. I asked people to pray as I prayed continually. Knowing that God was with us kept me from total despair. I learned to thank and praise God in the midst of the crisis. When it seemed hopeless, God sent someone to pray or encourage us. I knew God was there. When He is in a situation you know it will work out good.
What a Way to Spend Christmas
I was amazed at Richard’s attitude of gratitude throughout the times he was hospitalized. After a month of hospitalization and two major surgeries, Richard was able to come home with a visiting nurse and physical therapist. My brother Randy fixed up his rental home to be handicap accessible and we stayed in it. Every day Randy and Sharon came over to check on us and make sure everything was going well. He never complained in all the time he was down. But he began to lose a large amount of weight, refused food or water and became lethargic. Randy took us to the emergency room where we discovered he had pneumonia. He was placed in our local hospital on IVs through the holidays. On Christmas Eve the Motorcycle Club came with their children and grandchildren singing Christmas Carols. On Christmas of 2015 Randy, Sharon and my nephew Zac ate lunch in the hospital cafeteria with me. Delighted and amazed that they would spend time with us on Christmas day. I was grateful for the hospital staff that cooked for us in the cafeteria. Even though it was a holiday, everyone that worked that day was kind and cheerful. When I got back to Richard’s room the Respiratory Therapist was leaving saying, “Now I know why God had me work on Christmas day.”
Richard had spent his lunch hour encouraging him. While at our local hospital he began coughing up blood. The doctor explained that he needed to go back to Columbia where they had Respiratory Specialists. They transported him in an ambulance to the hospital 100 miles away. It was the middle of the night and pouring down rain when I drove up to Columbia. I started crying from fear and exultation. In my mind, I heard a voice say, “God inhabits the praise of His people.”
When My World was crumbling around me, I began to Sing
Out of tears and fears, I began to sing, “Heavenly Father, I appreciate you. I love you, adore you, I bow down before you. Heavenly Father I appreciate you.”
As I sang I felt a great relief knowing that God was in control of everything. Hope, peace and joy are within us. These are gifts from God that are not dependent on our circumstances. Richard is a kind, loving man whether he is in the hospital, at church, home or with friends and family. He is a joyous person even in a crisis. Joy is not always laughing or jumping up and down. It can be a quiet assurance in the midst of a crisis that God is with us and everything will work for good. Throughout the holidays and into the new year Richard showed an attitude of gratitude. He thanked the hospital staff from those who brought his meals and cleaned the room to the doctors and nurses. Joy is a gift just as faith and love are gifts. Even in a hospital bed coughing up blood, he was encouraging the staff.
Joy is not always laughing or jumping up and down
Today Richard is totally healed and back to his former strength. He has 16 screws in his spine, yet is in no pain. I learned that even in times of great crisis God is at every turn. He is within us, walking through the trials with us. He gives us joy in the midst of our fear, weakness, fatigue, in trials and tribulations.
As a Christian, we have a choice every day if we are going to live in joy by letting the Holy Spirit control us. Joy is having God within us and letting Him control what we think about. It is seeing life from a heavenly perspective. It is knowing and believing that God loves us and is in control of everything that happens in our lives.
The birds sing because the song is within them. The sun shines because the light is within it. And we have joy every day because God is within us. As we let the Holy Spirit control our thoughts and lives He gives us love, joy, and peace. Joy is knowing that all things work together for good to those who love God. Romans 8:28
Think of a time when you went through a crisis. Look at how God caused it to work for good. Think of a difficult time you went through, yet found joy in knowing good would come from it. Bring your place of joy with you to the hard places in life.