Hope from Joy
Psalm 71:14 ESV
I was thinking this week how everything stays the same but everything changes.
My story with God began when I was just a wee lass. I do remember church when I was three years old, but at that time I would sit in church next to m’ da and wonder why he sat so still and listened intently. One of my first memories in church was watching him drink from this tiny cup filled with purple liquid and he would take a tiny square of something out of a bowl. He looked very serious and when he took the square and drank from the tiny cup he prayed with his eyes closed.
He didn’t offer to give me a small cup and a tiny square, but I didn’t argue. Somehow I knew it was a grown up thing.
When I turned four I started going to a class of my own in church. Other children were there. We sang songs and the teacher told us a stories from the Bible. What’s strange is that I don’t remember playing with the other children. I don’t remember much about the stories. I don’t remember the toys or games I played.
What I vividly remember was my teacher. She had reddish brown curls and a lovely smile. She made me feel special and that made me want to go back. She was very kind.
Some time after I started to go to her Sunday School class I had to go to the hospital to have my tonsils taken out. I was a little afraid at first because my Mom and Dad weren’t with me after I we got to the hospital. I was confused about that. I didn’t understand why my Mom wasn’t standing beside my bed. Then, much to my surprise, my Sunday School teacher, Ms. Joy showed up beside my bed. She spoke softly and told me she would be with me.
I was sure that meant everything would be okay. I was also told I would get to have ice cream after. Since I love ice cream I was really looking forward to that!
A nurse came in and put a thing over my mouth. She reminded me after it was over I could have ice cream. The next thing I remember was waking up with a really soar throat. When I woke up my Sunday School teacher was there. I couldn’t talk but she held my hand. She told me after a while I could have ice cream. I was still hoping.
Eventually a nurse came in and my Sunday School teacher helped her push my bed into another room. My Mom and Dad did come in and I asked for ice cream because my throat hurt. I was really hoping I would get to have ice cream. I was told whenever my throat hurt I would get to have ice cream. At that moment I really wanted ice cream. I was hoping someone would bring me a big bowl of ice cream.
I did eventually het to have all the ice cream I could eat.
Psalm 71:14 says, “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.”
Hope is like craving something. In my case when I had my tonsils out I was hoping for ice cream. Sometimes I think I have to decide what I want based on what I have been hoping for. It makes me want to tell God what I need and thank God for hearing me.
The day I had my tonsils taken out I was thankful for ice cream.
More than sixty years later I hope and I pray. I get a sense of what God has for me and I hope for it.
A few years ago I ran into Ms. Joy in a care facility where my Mom is living. I had a chance to tell her how much it meant to me that she sat with me at the hospital. I really didn’t think about why she was able to sit with me after surgery.
I found out that Ms. Joy was able to sit with me at the hospital because she was a nurse on staff. What are the chances that my Sunday School teacher would also be a nurse on staff at the same hospital where I had my tonsils taken out?
I realized that God knew all along that Ms. Joy would be there for me.
I was also able to tell her how much I appreciated her kindness in Sunday School when I was fpur years old. I think I always liked Sunday School because of Ms. Joy.
Sometime later, I heard that Ms. Joy went to be with Jesus. That made me sad but it also made me smile. I was grateful I was able to talk to her and tell her how much her kindness meant to me. It still means a lot.
Now I can see Ms. Joy sitting with a bunch of children at the feet of Jesus.
I thank God for sending Ms. Joy into my life.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Your Life
Who has God sent to you? Be thankful for God’s care and plan for you.
In God, Deborah