Stumbling my Way to Joy 1

It was a September day when I was sitting on the edge of a bank which rises 6 feet above the road. I had “run away from home” across the yard to grieve and lament my inner distress. It had been an ongoing problem with that one son of mine. Now a rebellious teenager, he had for years been covered with a cloud of darkness which seemed to shroud him from the time he had been crushed under the weight of the car before he was two. No matter how his father and I tried to model all things good and right, the boy always was drawn to the opposite of darkness and evil. Tension in our home became the normal state of affairs.

Now there were evidences I could no longer deny that he was involved with an unsavory crowd, going down the drug road, deliberately choosing anything in opposition to our beliefs and standards. Father’s temper was short and I feared the explosions, the World War III that might erupt to the destruction of one and all.

It’s not like I had been ignoring the situation. For years I had prayed for some kind of Godly intervention. I had fasted. Anointed his room, his pillow, his doorway. Even attempted some weak-kneed deliverance, to no avail. Nothing worked. The heavens were silent.

On the bank that day I sat completely enveloped in hopelessness. There were no answers, and the future looked bleak, wintery.  Groans and sighs were my bitter food. I had had such hopes for my children, my family. But when hope is gone, there is nothing left to hang on to. All is blackness and despair.

Finally, standing up to return to the house, I waved the Bible I had carried out with me, declaring through tears, “There has to be an answer here somewhere! There has to be.” It was then I heard within, “Page 639.” What? This was my mother-in-law’s Bible, the old King James version, and I had no idea what was on page 639. Was my head playing tricks? Was I in my frustration making this up?

Opening to that page, I read “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” That word stood out on the page, shouting loudly, hang on, girl. Hang on. There is hope after all. That word was a promise, a sure and certain promise, and I grabbed onto it like a drowning man in the ocean clutching a rope. That word was a life line for the next “dark and stormy” six months. The waves rose higher, but the life line held.

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