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Don't Lose This

We all have problems, but one problem is avoidable. Happy Birthday To The Most Terrifically Special Person I've Ever Met Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Joel 1:12. In our scripture, things are at their very worst. The people in our text have had everything attacked by palmerworms.  What the palmerworms left, the locusts came behind and devoured.  What the locusts left, the cankerworms have gobbled up.  What the cankerworms have left, the caterpillars have consumed. Life can be like that.  Problem upon problem and loss after loss. However, the worst loss is the loss of joy. "Your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22). When joy leaves a person's life, it is not because it was stolen.  Joy leaves when it is relinquished.  Joy is never forcefully removed; it is willingly released. How terribly sad. My father passed away at the very young age of 56.  All of his life was marked by health problems. One problem my father did not have was a problem with joy.  My dad loved to laugh and, even more, he loved to make others laugh.  He had a great sense of humor.  As a kid, I could always find my father.  I just listened for the laughter, and there he was. During his many hospital stays, my father would always make his doctors and nurses laugh. On one particular bright sunny day, Dad was in the hospital.  A nurse came in and said, "Mr. Turner, you have such a beautiful view from your room!" Dad, pointing to a particular building, said, "You're absolutely right... if you enjoy looking at a funeral home!" There can be joy in every situation.  How?  First, you have to embrace the truth that joy is already present.  SEcond, you have to let joy do its natural work. And, third, you have to decide and determine to not let anyone or anything take your joy. When a thief steals your joy, you are also culpable. Photo courtesy of Lotus Carroll.  

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