Jane jumped up and down. Today was the day she got to meet her best friend Susan’s new puppy! She was heading over to Susan’s house right after school.
Diiiinnngg-Doonnnggg! The door flew open, “Come and see!’ Susan greeted Jane, “He’s in the kitchen right now,” she informed her as they walked quickly through the hallway after removing their shoes hurriedly by the door. It was a rainy day out. For the next hour both girls watched delightedly as the new puppy played and pounced and then curled up for a nap. “I’m so happy for you!” Jane said softly, “You’ve waited so long for this.” “Yeah,” Susan agreed, “First it was my Dad’s allergies, than when we found a dog that would work it was super expensive… I am just so glad for this blessing,”
The next day was saturday. Jane was just finishing her breakfast when the phone rang. It was Susan. “Hi!” Jane said cheerfully. “What’s up?” When there was no answer Jane asked, “Susan? You okay? What’s wrong?” It wasn’t like Susan to be so quiet. “He is dead,” Susan said flatly. “Who?”Jane asked. “The puppy. He got out of the house this morning when my Mom left the door open this morning to water the plants and…” Susan stopped. “And…” Jane prodded. “He ran out in the road just as a car came. It hit him, they weren’t able to stop soon enough,”
When Susan got off the phone she stared blankly at her hands. No tears would come and she felt numb. She had to do something! She got up and began cleaning her room. When there was nothing left to pick-up she found herself praying, “Lord my Father! I thank you for the time I got to have with that little spotted puppy. Thank you that I was able to have him in the first place; and thank you for the joy he brought to me and my family. I pray that you may still help us to have joy as I feel I will never have it again. I love you! Your will be done and not mine,” Filled with a new peace like she’d never known Susan got up and went out to the kitchen to bake a batch of cookies for the elderly lady next door.
- In this story Susan discovers the difference between happiness and Joy. And that there is a difference. Happiness is when you may feel good about something but Happiness doesn’t last it is an emotion and changes with the circumstance. While Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Something that comes from having God living in you. It is having Joy in Christ and not necessarily on what is going on around you. No matter if you having nothing or everything. You do have everything you need of you have God.
- Even when you’re hurting you can have Joy. Even when you’re sad. How? It is okay to hurt and mourn, even Jesus did that! But it isn’t okay to be overcome by sadness. You need to delight in the Lord no matter what the situation not just look on everything through a fog of sadness. But to see people for who they are and what they need even when you are hurting. If you learn to have Joy in hard things you will be able to help others in their hurting in a way few can. AS the Bible says, Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) 22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.