Last week, Michele Kersieck, purchased a few pieces of joy to send to some little girls. I delivered that afternoon. I went to the back door no answer, so I went around to the front rang the doorbell and placed the small sacks in the door. As I was backing out of the drive a little girl ran out of the backdoor with her dog. I could see the expression on her face as she opened the front glass door and pulled out the two packages that were wrapped perfectly in cello and shred. I rolled my window down and said, “Have a good day,” with a big grin on her face she said, “Thank you,” and ran back in the house.
What joy the gifts brought. All it was – two small packages. As I drove off my smile became flooded with tears. I at that moment thought of the reason we created Pass on Joy. It was created because of Stringer and Lauren. It was because of a cancer diagnosis and their friends and my friends bringing joy to them during cancer.
The more I drove I thought to myself how can you have joy in pain? How can you find joy when you have been dropped off a package not from Amazon, but a package that you didn’t choose, you didn’t ask for, you don’t want to deal with? What do you do when the devil drops something off that you didn’t directly cause or anticipate.
How can you find JOY amidst PAIN? There are several things that I thought of to answer this question about my moment of pain in the midst of JOY.
- On my drive to White Hall I listened to the sermon, “WHEN THE BATTLE CHOOSES YOU” by Steven Frutick pastor at the Elevation church. In this sermon Frutick discusses Josephat and what battle he was dealing with.
The battle had chosen him, he hadn’t chosen the battle. They were waging war against him and coming in for battle. He had no time to acquire from friends. He had not anticipated the battle. He didn’t have any time to plan.
So what did he do?
2 Chronicles 20:3
3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
Jehoshaphat went to the Lord. He didn’t go to friends he went straight and inquired the Lord. Isn’t this what we are all to do?
When we are having pain but yet we have found joy it is because we have brought everything to God.
I was then reminded that Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is much different than happiness. Happiness is an emotion that is fleeting, it comes and goes. It dwells on materialistic and worldly pleasures. Happiness comes from the outside. Joy is a deep-down God sent emotion. It may not always be about you it most of the times is about others’ contentment. Our circumstances won’t change, but we can invite Jesus into our hearts and have the gifts of the spirit resonate within our hearts. Joy is soul satisfying, inner self and emotional well-being. You can have joy in the midst of pain.
Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- It reminds me of love. I go back to the day when I saw love resonate within Lauren. Plain and simple she found love. Stringer was her one. He was the calm to her storm. To have grief you must have loved. To have sadness you must know Joy. To truly know that positive you must experience the negative. Joy grows in the soil of heartache and hardship. God uses adversity to produce faith, perseverance and strength.
- It takes me to my why? Even though I will never understand pain and suffering of those that don’t deserve it I can tell you why we started what we created. Cancer is what initiated our movement of Joy, but empathy is the derivative of it. It isn’t only about cancer it is about doing for someone who can do nothing for you. It is about being a servant to Christ. It is about serving others. Hebrews 6:10
To ensure that Stringer had purpose in his suffering. It is to make sure he lives on in the hearts of those who knew him and who didn’t know him. I pray that he is looking down realizing now how many people he touches. How his life wasn’t about cancer it was about the person he was. It was how he tackled the situation he was placed in with fight determination and perseverance. How he endured everything he endured but kept placing one foot in front of the other. How he gave praise to those that walked along side of him. How he appreciated everyone that led the way- doctors, nurses, therapist, his family. His purpose was not cancer his purpose was so much larger than that. And with that we will continue to share his story, his life, his purpose.
This week is Holy Week the week that Jesus walked with His cross. The day of suffering where He was pierced with nails and died. Why? Because of love for us, for our sins. Through his blood he washed away our sins.
This week is also what was wedding week 5 years ago for Lauren. She grieves because she loved. You can’t have grief unless you love.
CHALLENGES OF THE WEEK:
- Keep your daily appointment
- Dive deep into the word
- Find your joy
- Fill your cup with Christ so you can fill other cups
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yoaNVFo-tI WHEN THE BATTLE CHOOSES YOU, pastor Steven Furtick
Have a great week, Cupcake