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 the love of God!
There was only one time when Clara Sue almost lost the joy of the Lord. We were just leavin' church when all of a sudden the fire truck screamed down the street. We could see the 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 the house. Clara Sue didn’t come to church that next Sunday or the Sunday after that nor the Sunday after that. She had lost her joy.
Clara Sue was goin’ through the rubble one more time before it got hauled off. She saw an envelope stickin’ up out of the 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 the letter even though her Mamma had been gone for twenty years.
Clara Sue found a tree stump to sit on while she read the 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 you to know that I’m ready to go ‘n lookin’ forward to restin’ in the arms of Jesus. So, I don’t want you to ever lose the joy of the 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 the Lord even in her loss 'n pain ‘cause He was in her heart. It was almost as if God had written the letter Himself. She started comin’ back to church ‘n teachin’ Sunday School the next Sunday.
Lord, thank you that you are with us in our pain 'n your joy remains in us. In the of Jesus, amen.
Things to think 'bout:
1. Have you ever lost your joy?
2. How do you handle your pain? Do you rely on God?