Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
By Katherine Hussmann Klemp
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“Maybe if we take her out to eat tomorrow it’ll cheer her up a little. I hate it when she just sits at the kitchen table and broods.” was Anna’s hopeful reply.
The two sisters were beside themselves. Their father had died unexpectedly four months earlier, and their mother was definitely depressed. It was so unlike her. Always a happy, positive person, Mom had been the girls’ cheerleader for as long as they could remember.
“The worst part,” Carol admitted reluctantly, “is that I’m afraid that Mom’s faith has let her down, just when she needed it most.”
“Are you suggesting that God has let Mom down?” was Anna’s shocked reply.
“It’s not that, exactly. It’s just that I thought she’d have snapped out of it by now. I mean, if all things work together for good, as she always says, then why isn’t God there for her now?” Carol hated to bring this up, as though it showed the weakness of her own faith, but it had been worrying her. Where was God when it counted?
“I haven’t told you this, but yesterday I asked mom that same question” Anna confessed. "She gave me this shocked look and asked what I meant by such a question. I think she was disappointed in me.”
“Surely you are not implying that I have been living on my own strength these past four months. How do you think I get through each day? It’s only by God’s grace that I get up in the morning. Of course His will is to be done in my life.” She chided me. “What made you even ask the question?”
Carol was a little taken aback her mother’s reaction. “What did she mean, why ask the question? Has she looked in the mirror lately? I haven’t seen her smile since Dad died. She doesn’t look happy to me.”
That’s the thing. She got a little huffy with me and said in that voice of hers, you know, the lecture one, “There’s a world of difference between happiness and joy, Anna. Happy, I’m not, but there is a joy in my heart that sustains me and will see me through this, and anything else my Lord chooses for my life.”
“Oh,” said Carol.
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