Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Who Stole My Joy?
By Dana Cooper
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While out shopping at the mall in one of my favorite shops I came across
a neat figurine. It is painted gold and made from a huge chunk of wood
and spells out the letters JOY. When I first found my JOY it was on sale for
A steal of a deal. I could hardly wait to get to the cash register and purchase it.
The check out lady remarked at what a great deal I was getting. I knew exactly what I
needed to do with it. It needed to come with me to church. It needed to sit and proclaim for all the entire world to see J O Y.
Our church family has gone through a terrible trial of faith this past year. Many of the people who attend assembly with us have lost their homes to Hurricane Rita.
Our pastor is living in a motor home beside the church. His family’s home was flooded
in addition, most of their possessions destroyed. To even step up the heat a bit more he has been waging a battle against lymphoma these last few months. Joy has not been the greatest attribute hanging around our church family lately. The bible speaks of salvation being joy unspeakable and full of glory. Joy is also one of the listed fruits of the Spirit. Jesus can give you joy even when you are going through the hardest battle. He knows how to bless his children.We were in need of a reminder.
I paid for my JOY and happily carried it out of the store and placed it in the trunk of my car. The next time I went to church service I presented it to my pastor’s wife. She was so excited about it that she walked right over to the place I had thought mentally it should go and said, “It needs to be put right here where everyone can see it when they arrive.”
Amen! It was the will of God. Every church service when I walked into the building and looked over at my JOY sitting there in the foyer, it gave me personal joy to be able to bless and remind each child of God that there is joy in the presence of the Lord regardless of their circumstance.
One day I walked in and my JOY was gone from its resting place. I looked everywhere and in every closet but still no JOY. I asked everyone I came in contact with at the church and no one knew where it had disappeared to. I went to my pastor’s wife and told her about the situation. She also began to hunt for my JOY but could not find it anywhere.
One night after prayer I told my husband, “Not only is my JOY missing from the foyer but the devil wants to steal my personal joy as well. I refuse to allow him to steal my joy and he is going to have to return my JOY also.” The next morning my pastor preached about The Joy of The Lord being our strength and how the devil wants to steal our joy. That was the last straw. When prayer requests came I lifted my hand and asked the church to pray for whoever stole my JOY to return it to the church foyer. Shock registered on people’s faces. I know it was a bold statement but I had to have my JOY back.
Two days after my prayer request JOY returned to the house of worship. Now it proudly sits in the foyer in its special place reminding me of the fruit of the Spirit. Someone had put it in a box thinking it was a Christmas decoration. It sits there to remind my church family that they can have joy (JOY) everyday not just on special occasions.
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