Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
We were two nineteen year old girls talking about our futures, Vallie had just enjoyed her college orientation as a freshman, while I on the other hand just celebrated one year of marriage and my first child. However, both of us now lay in hospital beds not entirely cognizant of our diagnoses.
Vallie was both excited and jittery about being on her own for the very first time, still her anticipation and enthusiasm was quite obvious. I on the other hand wondered all about my first son and what would life be like seeing him grow up.
Daytime hours were filled with medical tests, and doctors prodding and poking our bodies. Evenings were fairly quiet, especially when visitors left and that's when Vallie and I would spend hours talking.
We soon learned that Vallie had Leukemia and I was diagnosed with Lupus, doctors didn't give either of us a very good prognosis. On that particular night we both said our good nights earlier than usual and rolled over to hopefully get some rest.
Sleep didn't come quickly to me and I recalled a story I once heard a few times, but the endings were very different from one another. The following is what I recalled:
JOY DEEP IN HIS SOUL OR ANGER THAT KILLS
There were two elderly men who were now living in a nursing home, they shared a room with one bed by the window and one by the doorway. Both men were bedridden so they would talk for hours about their first dates, their first kiss, their cars, the war, marriage, children and work.
As they exhausted their stories of their lives the man by the window began to describe his view. He would talk about a big beautiful lake, children playing on swings and teeter totters, young couples walking hand in hand around the path of the lake, flowers, birds, ducks and oh, the marvelous gaggle of geese swimming with their goslings.
The man whose bed was by the door longed to see life outside of his room, he often wished his bed was by the window. He often asked his roommate to describe what people were doing outside his window.
One night his friend by the window began gasping for breath. His friend by the door, saw nurses going by but he never called to them or pushed his buzzer for help.
Eventually a nurse did come in with medications only to find the man by the window, was in trouble, his breathing was labored and shallow so she immediately called for help. Nurses and doctors worked on the man, but he died that night.
Quietly the nurses cleaned the area and put the man on a stretcher and wheeled him out of the room. She noticed his roommate was awake and she apologized for interrupting his sleep.
A day or so later the man by the doorway asked if he could possibly switch to the side of the room with the window. So, the nurses soon moved him and his belongings to the other side of the room.
The man was thrilled to finally be able to have a view other than the people who walked by his room each day. He managed to raise himself up to look out and see the lake and whatever else was going on outside.
To his complete surprise, he only saw a brick wall that was part of another wing in the nursing home. Anger rose in his body as he turned red and cursed the man that had told him such lies of life around a wonderful lake!
This man was livid every time he peered out the window, at least by the door he could see people pass by. Within days the anger began to affect him physically and it wasn't very long before he died of a heart attack! -Author Unknown
My friends the first man's JOY came from deep within his soul, where he was content with his surroundings and his life. On the other hand the second man depended on the things around him to bring happiness and joy!
ONLY GOD KNOWS WHEN...
Vallie went through a series of chemotherapy and eventually was discharged from the hospital. I was discharged a few weeks later and was excited to see my now year old son. Vallie and I kept in touch, until her mom told me she wasn't strong enough to talk.
On Mother's Day I received that dreaded phone call, Vallie had passed away during the early morning hours. Her mom asked if we were able to come to the funeral and bring Christopher.
I hung up the phone, before I realized the funeral was exactly on Vallie's birthday, she would have turned twenty one on the day her mom had to bury her. The viewing was full of Vallie's high school friends, teachers and family.
However, Christopher was the light in that very darkened and weary room. Vallie's mom held on to him as if to imagine what Vallie's future might have been.
Although Vallie's mom didn't want to know about God because of Vallie's death...I knew where Vallie was and JOY flooded
my soul, knowing that one night Vallie and I talked about death! I had shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with
her and she accepted Jesus that same night!
We never know when our time here on earth will be over, we only know that one day it will be over. I live day to day with Lupus attacking my organs and my body, still I have that JOY UNSPEAKABLE deep down in my soul that is not attached to "things" because, I have Jesus!
Do you have JOY deep within yourself that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ? Or do you need the things or your friends to give you the happiness and joy that you not only deserve, it is readily available to you through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ??
Please feel free to use my contact page if you need to find real JOY deep in your soul... that comes only from Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!