Joy In Spite Of...

Deepa David   |   March 22, 2019 

Almost every time I have to write for IndiAanya, our family is usually in some major crisis. Either I’m battling chronic pain for three months, or I find my toddler face down in a bucket of water, or we’re struggling through school issues with the older kids.

Currently, as I write this, we are dealing with my husband Ranjit's kidney stones. He has multiple stones in both kidneys. In fact there’s a huge one stuck in his ureter right now causing him tremendous pain. But this month I choose to write about JOY! Small joys they said...write about the small joys in your life. How do you write about joy when your world comes to a standstill, when your routine is thrown out the window, and you have no idea when the next pain attack is going to paralyse your husband? Yet, even through our current crisis I can only see reason for joy.

At the end of February, our church plant moved into a new space. No more meeting in hotel basements. No more storing church boxes in our kids' room and living room. No more lugging equipment up and down 3 flights of stairs. We were so excited! The first weekend in March marks our church plant completing one year. Yet another major reason for joy. But the day before the launch of our new space Ranjit had a kidney stone attack. This entire week has been so chaotic- Ranjit rolling in pain, throwing up non stop, creatinine level slightly off the mark, multiple visits to the ER, hospital visits, blood work, CT scan, insurance agents... the list seems endless. But in the midst of all this, I find reason for joy- big joy in small things!

Ask me if I’m happy this week. No, I’m not happy. It sucks to see your husband suffer and you have no power to ease his pain. It sucks to see your kids fumbling through their annual exams and their routine all messed up. But ask me if I have joy in my heart, and the answer is a resounding yes.

Just recently I was doing a study on Psalm 4 with a few girls. Psalm 4:7 says,

You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. 

We were contrasting inward joy and happiness. Both seems awfully similar, yet worlds apart. We spoke about how inward joy is steady as long as we trust God, whereas happiness is unpredictable. Joy defeats discouragement, while happiness tries to cover it up. Joy is lasting, whereas happiness is temporary. And this week I got to experience that kind of joy.

Our church community stepped in and helped. They not only helped in setting up our new space for the church, but helped us at home with food and taking care of our kids and driving us to the ER. My heart was and still is bursting with joy at what God is doing in our community. I got to experience first hand the kind of joy that Jesus talks about in John 15:11-12

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 

Or again in Galatians 6:2 when Paul says,

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.

I experienced joy in community. God created us to live in community like this. Jesus envisioned a community of people who would love one another and live in community just as the triune God lives in community, so that we might experience joy, even through our trials and sufferings.

That night when I had to take Ranjit to the emergency room , it was 11:30 pm. I found my daughter crying in the kitchen with her Bible open on her lap. She kept asking if we were going to lose daddy.  After we had calmed her down and explained to her what was going on, she said, “Don’t worry about us being alone mummy. Take daddy and go to the hospital.”

When I think back at that incident, it gives me joy to realise that my daughter knew exactly to whom she could turn to when she was afraid. She knew she would find comfort in the Word of God. It gives me joy, to know that she could be brave even in the middle of the night.

Right through this week I’ve seen my 8 year old help my 4 year old with his home work and bath. She’s helped around the house with everyday chores, just so I could get some rest. And that fills my heart with immense joy. I’ve seen my 4 year old have a cheerful disposition and cooperate with us with every change in his schedule. Through out this time of crisis, I’ve seen tangible moments of God’s grace interwoven into the rhythms of our everyday life. And that fills my heart with joy. A joy that doesn’t change with the way I feel, or my current circumstance. A joy that’s possible only when I have a personal relationship with Jesus as my Saviour.

Recently my friend was showing me her BSF(Bible Study Fellowship) notes on the word Hesed. It started out by saying that the Hebrew word Hesed is central to God’s identity and that it encompasses so many aspects of love and loyalty that no one word can fully translate it. But what caught my attention was the line at the very end of that paragraph that said,Hesed means God includes our most painful losses in His unshakable promise to bring us lasting joy.”  And what a privilege for us to experience that kind of lasting joy because of what Jesus has done for us.

And so, as I continue my journey here on earth, I am thrilled that God allows me to experience joy in spite of whatever I’m going through currently. Maybe your life is not as chaotic as mine or maybe it’s far worse than what I am going through but I pray that God will help you to experience joy in life’s simple and mundane.

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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Deepa David

Deepa David skillfully juggles her various roles as a wife and mother of three kids. Her biggest role is to support her husband in ministry, bringing stability into a demanding ministry environment. She has a heart for underprivileged women and has served with commercial sex workers and women in situations of exploitation and abuse. She is also theologically trained with an MA in Christianity from SAIACS. She is joyful all the time and never tires of hosting people in her home.
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