Finding Joy In Difficult Circumstances

December 18, 2012

Accept, Faith At Home, Parenting

sunrisecrossKenneth Dodge tells about an 8-year-old boy named Frank. Frank had a date with his father to go fishing one Saturday. They were going to fish the whole day. On Friday night he had everything laid out. He was ready to go.

But on Saturday morning he awoke to discover that it was raining cats and dogs, and they couldn’t go fishing. So 8-year-old Frank grumbled and griped and complained all morning long.

He kicked the furniture, the dog, the cat. Nothing was right. “Why does it have to rain today?”

His father tried to explain to him that the farmers needed the rain. But that didn’t satisfy Frank.

“Why does it have to rain today?” he said.

About noon the clouds broke and the sun came out.

His dad said, “Well, we can’t go fishing all day, but at least we can fish this afternoon. Let’s go.”

So they jumped into the truck, went to the lake and fished all afternoon, and caught more fish than they had ever caught before. The baskets were full, and they had the time of their lives.

They came home, and mom cooked some of the fish for supper. As they were sitting down to eat, Frank’s dad looked at him and asked,

“Would you ask the blessing?”

Eight-year-old Frank prayed this prayer:

“God, if I sounded a little grumpy earlier today, it was because I couldn’t see far enough ahead.”

And that’s the problem, isn’t it?  Sometimes we’re so caught up in the difficult circumstances we’re going through, the difficult people we’re dealing with, and all the things that surround us as parents of children with special needs that we just can’t see far enough ahead. But when we take time to look at what we have in Christ our Savior, we can begin to focus more and more on the positive and His wonderful promises.

It is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful.  As a father to several boys on the autism spectrum I can attest to this.  For many people, they can be happy for a while as long as circumstances are good, but they’re not going to always stay good.

And if we’re waiting for things to get just right so that we can be happy, then we’ll never experience joy. But when Christ becomes our central focus — our reason for existence – then and only then can we begin to understand the meaning of true joy.  May each of us strive to say with Paul, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice” (Phil. 4:4).

Michael Woods

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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3 Comments on “Finding Joy In Difficult Circumstances”

  1. ChildsPlay Says:

    “God, if I sounded a little grumpy earlier today, it was because I couldn’t see far enough ahead.” Amen!


  2. Kmcrosby Says:

    Most couples think getting divorced is the only way to get a break from autism. Only to find it opens a new host of additional problems, including lack of finances.


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