storm with sun picThe  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

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