Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)
Two weeks ago, we left the house for about three hours. The sun blazed in the cloudless sky. Although the weatherman mentioned a possibility of thunder storms in selected areas, we felt safe in letting our awning extended. They’d been calling for sudden storms all week. They missed the mark every day.
On our way home, we drove slowly through a downpour we used to call a gully washer. In some spots, water streamed across the road like a river.
When we got home, I walked into the kitchen. A white curtain blocked my view from the window. I gasped as I heard Gene yell, “Oh no!”
The weight of the rain gathered in our awning snapped the roll bar in half.
Needless to say, we were disappointed. We had debated about getting an awning for our deck several years before we finally purchasing one. A neighbor had helped Gene install it just a month prior to the incident.
It was a small commodity really. We knew that.
However the loss of our swimming pool didn’t seem like a small thing to our granddaughter.
We kept a nice size, inexpensive, blowup, pool (the blue and white stripe at the bottom of the picture) on the deck for the grandactives to cool off in. The sharp, broken edge of the roll bar punctured the pool. Of course, it’s irreparable. And shame on Bee and Pap for not buying a new one and having it set up, ready to go for the kids when they got there two days later. Our granddaughter, Sydney sulked for more than an hour.
I asked her if she was upset about the pool.
“No.” She sniffled. “It’s just that I wanted to have fun this summer. But no. That just can’t happen.”
“But we went to Sight and Sound yesterday. Didn’t you enjoy the show?”
“Yes. But that was the only fun I had all summer.”
I reminded her of some of the other activities her family did this summer. None of that seemed to matter. She wanted to play in the water, but the pool was destroyed.
“The awning was destroyed too,” I said. “Pap and I were pretty disappointed about that. But it doesn’t take away all the good times we had this summer. It’s your choice, Sydney. You can find other fun things to do today at Bee’s house. Or you can pout all day. But that still doesn’t take away from all the other days you had fun.”
Sydney didn’t say anything for a long time after our conversation. Eventually, she got out of her mood and played with her brother and sister. I think she actually had fun.
Life is full of disappointments. Some are small, like a destroyed awning and kids’ pool. Some are huge, like being diagnosed with cancer or losing a loved one. But even the worst disappointment cannot rob us of our joy when we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must grieve. We must count our loss. We must rebuild and restore what we can. But our joy remains intact. Our joy does not depend on outside sources. Our joy comes from the Lord. He dwells in us. He completes our joy.
How about you? How have you learned to face hardships with joy?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks