Joy In Your Pain
Clara Sue has been a member of our church for as long as I can remember. She taught me in Sunday School ‘n guided me through GA’s (Girls Auxiliary). Clara Sue oozed tha love of God!
There was only one time when Clara Sue almost lost tha joy of tha Lord. We were just leavin' church when all of a sudden tha fire truck screamed down tha street. We could see tha sky was full of smoke. Everyone ran to see what was goin on!
It was Clara Sue’s house. She cried ‘n cried cause she lost all she had. Pictures of her Mamma ‘n family – gone. All of her homemade quilts - gone. Even her Bible was burned. Clara’s joy seemed to go up in smoke with all of her prized possessions.
Her neighbor ‘n best friend, Illa Mae, welcomed Clara Sue into her home until she could get things settled ‘bout tha house. Clara Sue didn’t come to church that next Sunday or tha Sunday after that nor tha Sunday after that. She had lost her joy.
Clara Sue was goin’ through tha rubble one more time before it got hauled off. She saw an envelope stickin’ up out of tha metal box where she kept all of her important papers. When she opened the envelope, she saw it was a letter from her Mamma. It was singed but readable. She had never been able to bring herself to read tha letter even though her Mamma had been gone for twenty years.
Clara Sue found a tree stump to sit on while she read tha letter. With tears streamin’ down her face, she read:
My sweet Clara Sue,
You’re my only child ‘n I know once I’m gone you’ll be lost in your pain. But I want ya to know that
I’m ready to go ‘n lookin’ forward to restin’ in tha arms of Jesus. So, I don’t want ya to ever lose
tha joy of tha Lord no matter what happens in your life. Here are some scripture passages that helped
me through my own times of loss:
John 15:11 Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
John 16:24 "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
1 John 1:4-5 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Clara Sue was reminded that she could still find joy in tha Lord even in her loss 'n pain ‘cause He was in her heart. It was almost as if God had written tha letter Himself. She started comin’ back to church ‘n teachin’ Sunday School tha next Sunday.
Lord, thank ya' that you are with us in our pain 'n your joy remains in us. In tha of Jesus, amen.