I’ve cried until my eyes swelled up and blotted until my face went raw. I’ve mourned long and hard for my dog, and in many ways, still do. But joy comes in the mourning.
Usually, I have an attitude like this: “God, does ONE MORE bad thing have to happen to me now? How can I ever move forward with my life? You are not good or loving or kind.” Then I feel bad, so I repent yet remain absolutely miserable—a pitiful creature that spurns the happiness of others.
But not this time, not with this incident.
I knew that I had to CHOOSE to turn my sorrow into thankfulness and find that elusive joy in troubles that James speaks so highly of in his New Testament book. Even though I mourned and wailed for my lost dog, I thanked God for her life and for choosing me to be her human guardian in her life here on the fallen planet.
And I continued to thank Him for Cassie, and then I thought of more reasons to be thankful. If Cassie had died a few months ago, I would have completely fallen apart. Her life was in His hands…and yes, God cares about animals. He created them, didn’t He? (If you’re in doubt, read the book of Job. God tells Job that He knows when the mountain goat gives birth on the mountainside. An infinite God cares about a goat on a mountain somewhere? Yes, He does.)
Will I react the same way the next time I’m face down with a broken heart? I hope so, but it’s not a guarantee. I just know I’m closer now than I was before to finding “joy in all circumstances,” one step closer to choosing joy. And I’m only asked to take one step at a time with my God.
Between you and me, I don’t think I could handle much more than that. Then again, God knows that already, doesn’t He?
Let’s dish…how has joy coming in your mourning? What helped you arrive at this place? Or is this still a foreign concept to you—why or why not?