I did not title this post "Happiness" in Days of Sorrow. But, Joy. We are counting down to the two year passing of my Dad. November 9th, 2005 he slipped peacefully into eternity at the young age of 58. We are not happy that he is gone! But we are joyful that his suffering from diabetes and what it had done to his body is over. We are not happy that we do not get to enjoy his presence every day...but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is in the presence of his own best friend, Jesus.
We are not happy about the pain this has left in our hearts, but we rejoice that God has been faithful to carry us through.
In April, Warren's Dad went to be with the Lord after a three year struggle with a spinal chord tumor. November of 2006 found him with extreme brain damage after a fall, since the tumor had left him pretty much paralyzed on one side and the medications had side effects that caused him to bleed easily. This fall rattled his brain and he was no longer able to communicate much or care for himself at all. The circumstances of the months that followed are at this point in our lives absolutely the hardest we have faced, to date. But there is joy in watching how the Lord orchestrated Gene's miraculous acceptance at the Nursing Home at the end of our road and the opening up of Mom's home to Georgia during those difficult months...the family home was an hour away. The Lord brought just the right people across our path when we needed it most. Did we feel happy during those times...emphatically NO!...but we do know the comfort and JOY of resting in HIM and knowing that HE had shown the evidence of HIS care in working out the impossible details.
These are the things that I hold on to when I am so tempted to be overwhelmed and let that Joy slip away into despair. God was in the details. God was with us. God was our comfort. God gave both Dads dying grace...it was beautiful. Can I say that? Their passings were beautiful! It is true.
So...whether I "feel" happy about the loss of these really important men in our lives is not important. Finding my JOY in the LORD is!
If you have lost someone close to you and you have lost your joy, I would challenge you to look for God in the details. Make a list. Can you see HIM there? In the days, weeks, months or years since...how has God worked in your life to show you how much HE loves you and cares for you? Rejoice in that love. If you are HIS child there is absolutely nothing that comes your way that HE cannot or will not enable you to make it through.
Joy...in days of sorrow!