The news of the disease slammed her heart like a hurricane hitting land with full force. She prayed fervently asking God to heal her beloved father, yet the following days, months, and years wreaked havoc on his body, strength, dignity, and heart. The more she prayed the more betrayed she felt. Why would God allow this cruel disease to steal the life of her precious daddy? She fought to keep her faith afloat and not drown in disbelief; yet every time she saw her father the extreme cruelty was apparent. Her deep pain led to confusion, anger, despair, and spiritual distress. Her prayers evaporated into nothingness leaving her heart grasping for answers.
In the mountains of God’s splendor she brings the weight of her anguish. After hours seeking God -‐betrayal lurked. She confessed her sins, and worshipped God for who He is, not what He could do. Opening her arms toward Heaven, she allowed the lies to be stripped from her heart. As freedom entered she envisioned her Majestic King approaching her with a gold effervescent box which held a crown vibrant like the morning sun. Exquisite diamonds surround it, and it beams with beauty. He crowned her head and they danced. “Today, I bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of morning, and a garment of praise instead of despair,” He whispered. Tears gush. She embraces the dance and receives the promise. The heaviness was gone. The light of His face shined upon her anguish, and filled her heart with joy. Nothing had changed but her heart.
In that moment, grief and joy danced together – as if they had a right to.
Is your heart overcome with grief or anguish? Have you been dealt a cruel hand? God can replace your grief and turn your mourning into joy. He alone is able!
TRUTH – “ I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn into joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy.“
Joy and anguish are extreme feelings yet they can co-‐exist. Joy in Greek is “chara” meaning gladness, contentment, complete, and or the joy received from another. Biblical “joy” embraces an organic quality by coming to us in a person. Christ is our true joy. Anguish in Greek is “thlipsis” meaning tribulation, affliction, trouble, grief, persecution, burdened, and or to be afflicted. Biblical anguish conveys a picture of something being crushed or squeezed under a substantial weight.
James 1:2 tells us to “consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds”.
Prayer: LORD GOD, today bestow on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of morning, and a garment of praise instead of despair! In Jesus Name, AMEN