Words of Hope: Surprised by Joy

I had been dreading Father’s Day. I woke up on Father’s Day, assuming it would be a bone-crushing day of sorrow, but it wasn’t. I left deep gratitude for my Dad and felt very close to him. His spirit of life seemed everywhere, reminding me to be thankful, slow down and listen, and delight in life’s simple pleasures. The experience reminded me of a scene from the Lord of the Rings trilogy when Frodo lay in the dark lair of Shelob expecting the worst and instead remembered the light of Earendil, a special gift Galadriel had given him. Frodo grabbed the gift, and light burst forth with immediate help and radiance. This was like my day for me through no effort on my own.

I believe this bright joy was because so many who love me and my family were praying for me—maybe just a small request to God to help me get through Father’s Day. I felt the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit. It was a true gift of joy and peace which I ascribe as grace–God’s amazing grace prompting a prayer, bringing a light spirit, and an easy yoke. Through this grief process, I have been surprised by joy, as C.S. Lewis writes about in his tender book chronicling the death of his wife. I know the prayers of others buoyed my spirits and gave me strength. How much do we need each other?! We need one another; we need prayer. God asks us to pray. There is something powerful and mysterious in prayer I do not understand, but I know I need it, and I am so thankful for those who pray for me. 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:18