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Joy in the Lord despite circumstances

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Some years ago, someone I greatly admired died as a result of cancer. It was a cancer that came and went. She would be cancer-free, in remission, and then back into the hospital. It was an endless cycle.

She knew she was a faithful daughter of the Most High God, and she was living her days with joy despite the medical roller-coaster she rode Whenever I saw her, she was smiling and was always ready with an encouraging word.

I loved that woman.

Even now, I think about her often. I wonder about her deep faith and great trust of the Lord. She knew that joy in the Lord is not based on circumstance, but on the Lord and nothing else! But did I know that for myself?

I often prayed: Would I find myself being joyful in the Lord despite my circumstances, should they ever become so bleak?

Last week, the Lord revealed the answer to me.

I was in an auto accident. I was hit by a car which ran a red light traveling 45-50 mph. The bulk of the impact occurred just behind the driver's door. Both the back and front seat curtain air bags deployed, then all was still in dust and the smell bent metal. The only sounds I heard were my car's blinking emergency lights and my own very fast breathing.

The driver of the other vehicle ran over to me and asked me if I was okay. He called out to others who had stopped to call 911.

A woman wearing medical scrubs peeked into the car and asked me some questions. I remember answering them, although I cannot remember what she asked. Then she asked if there was anyone she could call. I gave her my husband's number.

A man named Chris identified himself as an off-duty EMT and asked me similar questions as the nurse, and then he held my head still until the paramedics arrived.

Time stood still. I can't recall anything other than focusing on breathing and the pain I felt in my chest and left side of my body.

The paramedics and police arrived, and Chris, the off-duty EMT, moved to the back seat and continued to keep my head still. The driver's side window was broken open, and the door was pried open to allow a wooden stretcher to be placed beneath me.

I was pulled onto the stretcher, and placed on a gurney, and then into an ambulance. A hard neck brace was placed over my head, and more questions from the paramedics required answers.

An IV needle was placed into my hand and a finger prick for a blood sugar test happened before the ambulance began the long drive to the Emergency Room. The medic who rode in the back with me apologized in advance for the discomfort I was going to feel on the road. "Ambulances weren't designed to be the most comfortable ride, especially for someone in your condition."

On the way to the hospital, I remember thinking about a friend who was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I prayed for her, for I knew - even at that moment - that our God is a God of miracles. I prayed for my own health, and for my faith to remain strong. I prayed for my husband, that he would remain calm and trust God, despite the unknown he was going through at that very moment as he waited for my arrival to the hospital.

Despite the pain during the following hours, faith kept me calm. I didn't panic. I knew there would be tests needed to ensure there was no internal bleeding or fractures, and that the hard, uncomfortable neck brace would not come off until all the tests were done.

The tests came back negative for fractures and internal bleeding, and my sole injury came from the safety belt which saved my life. I thanked God, and will continue to do so as I heal. Each time I catch a glimpse of the colorful, swollen bruise covering nearly half of my upper body, I thank God. Every time I move and feel pain, I praise Him.

I think back to the accident. A nurse and an off-duty EMT were on-hand immediately. I thank God for that.

The other driver did not seem to be injured. I thank God for that.

The bruises and swelling will fade and the accident will become a memory, and I will continue to thank God. That is my purpose - to thank Him and praise Him and glorify Him in all I do. And I get to live another day to do just that!

God revealed to me, through this whole ordeal, that I too am a faithful daughter of the Most High God, who has faith and trust Him despite my circumstances. Every moment I am on this earth to live and breathe, is a day for God.

My new daily question for the Lord is this: How may I glorify you today, Lord?

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

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