Thursday, January 7, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - Who Stole My Joy?

Today is "Word Wednesday" - a day to share my "Word for the Year 2016"...

Recently I read a story in "Guideposts", a small magazine that shares "True stories of Hope and Inspiration".  Written by Dave Beckwith from Irvine, CA, it was titled, "Who Stole My Joy?"

In his story, Mr. Beckwith (actually "Rev." since he is a pastor!) wrote about his decorations for Christmas.  While his neighbors decorated with inflatable Santas or icicle lights, he placed three big wooden signs illuminated with spotlights:

He had been doing these same decorations for many years, and his neighbors loved and appreciated seeing them. People even came by to see the decorations, some even leaving "thank you" notes for them.

One morning, Pastor Beckwith opened his front door to discover the "Joy" sign was gone!  The wires connecting the sign had been clipped and the entire sign was removed.

"Why on earth would someone do that?"  he asked.  "Why would God let someone steal my Joy?"

Well, he didn't find the "Joy" sign, or answers to these questions; but as he wrote, "I did get a good sermon out of the story - how to find joy in a sometimes crazy season."

The season we just finished - Advent/Christmas - can be joy-ful!  But, it can also be joy-less.

Many have a hard time finding joy amidst the grief and sorrow they feel in the loss of a loved one.

Many find it hard to find joy when their lives are turned upside down because of financial hardships.  How do we find joy when we don't even have the funds to pay our bills or buy groceries, much less trying to buy gifts for our children and loved ones.

As a caregiver, I often find it hard to feel the joy; yet as I look at those around me - some who have it much harder than we do - I can stop and think about the things that I do have in my life:

A comfortable apartment - a roof over our heads!

Food to eat - and in the freezer, fridge and cabinets.

Family and friends to enjoy being with...there are those who are alone, and feel it especially during the holidays.

Clothes to wear - I may not be the most fashionable but I am dressed, and have things to choose from to wear each day!

Pastor Beckwith continued into the new year, counseling a young couple who had requested "couples' counseling" from him.  Though the husband (Tom) remained quiet during their first session, at the end he said, "Pastor, I can make you a new Joy sign if you'd like.  I'm a carpenter, you know."

The counseling continued, though the pastor felt Tom had no interest in God or forgiveness or any of the other messages of redemption he offered.

Finally, in April Tom called the pastor to tell him the Joy sign was ready.  Pastor Beckwith offered to meet Tom for dinner to thank him.

Here's what he wrote:  "Tom seemed nervous.  He fiddled with his menu, then put it down and blurted, 'Pastor, I get it.'

'Get what?' asked Pastor.

'The key to love, joy, and peace,' replied Tom.

'Yes?' asked Pastor.

' It's God,' answered Tom."

While cutting the wood for the Joy sign, Tom had a strange thought - "Where do love, joy and peace even come from?"

It finally hit him..."There is no love or peace without God!  And that is the very key to Joy."

Well, Tom was so convinced of the message he finally came to believe, that he cut a fourth that said simply "God".

So, as Tom in this story found, once we find God, we know that love, peace and joy are just around the corner!

Praying you find the joy you have been missing...

And that it makes your heart sing to the tune you have inside of you, unleashing the...


that may be hidden!


  1. I have to be honest, usually my eyes roll a bit at those anecdotal stories that are a cutesy reminder - but wow, what an amazing story about joy! First, I laughed out loud about stolen joy - literal stolen joy. But sometimes I struggle to see the joy in the every day. This was such a good reminder for me!

    1. I totally understand, Melissa! I found that, while watching Lifetime and Hallmark movies during the holidays, they all seemed to have one girl goes to country for "whatever reason" and meets country boy; they fall in love and life changes and they live "happily ever after"...OR city boy/ country girl...OR some such story as that!

      The same for some of the books we read; or the stories, etc.

      But, I thought it a good way to bring in this subject for this week's post. The truth is, I FIND IT HARD TO FIND THE JOY IN EVERY DAY, too!!! That's why the word is going to really be tough to write every week about...but am giving it a really great try!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Good story to illustrate your point. Just as someone took the pastor's joy sign, circumstances can easily steal our joy.

    1. Thank you, Barbara! Appreciate your reading and commenting! I hope to find other stories and quotes and things to illustrate my word for this year! And pray as I go along...that I can continue finding JOY in many ways and forms and to be able to share it with others!

  3. Oooh, how often do we allow our joy to be taken! And, also, how often do we share our joy? Two ends of the spectrum.

    1. Thanks for reading, Deb!! So enjoyed your beautiful photos today!!


Thank you for stopping by to read my post today! I appreciate your reading and commenting - your comments are a welcome encouragement for me to continue one of my favorite things - writing!

You are special to me; and your words help in more ways than I can number...Thank you just isn't enough!