Jack’s bike was stolen this weekend.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, we live on a creek in Richardson, Texas. The creek is separated from our main lot by a chain link fence; other house lots along the creek are offset by wooden fences, tree lines, shrubbery, or in some cases, remain open to the creek below. Over the years, we’ve noticed people walking along the creek bed; sometimes teens will investigate the ‘wildlife’ (although that’s usually coincidentally timed with a school science project deadline).
But school’s out for summer, and now Jack’s bike is missing. Someone entered our property – presumably from the creek bed, since we have a locked iron fence that closes off the driveway – and took his bike.
We aren’t planning on replacing the bike soon, for many reasons – not the least of which the frequency with which Jack rode it this last year. Even so, we feel violated. Something was taken from us.
As I ponder my feelings on this, I’m reminded of a time recently when I allowed someone to ‘steal’ my feeling of joy. Has that ever happened to you? I was in a great mood, smiling, laughing with friends, and – BAM! –
I allowed a person to take the joy out of the moment with a simple comment. And for at least 24 hours, I struggled to regain the feeling I had lost. What better place to turn than the Bible for comforting words? I found them in two places:
Psalms 51 is a prayer from David when he needed cleansing and pardon from God: 51:12 ‘Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.’ I am reminded that the true joy of Christ comes when we are willing to receive it; I had been so focused on remembering the feeling of lost joy that in a very short time, I had closed my heart to the renewing joy of Christ. I don’t want to feel this way – I want to have the joyful feelings that God intended me to have! ‘Sustain in me a willing spirit,’ God. Help me to be willing to seek it, no matter how hurt I might have been.
John 16:22, in the words of Christ, remind me that ‘no one will take your joy from you’ when you lift your heart to God. No one, and no ‘thing.’
So do I still feel like something was stolen from me? Less frequently than at first, and unfortunately, I do still find myself remembering. I have to push that hurt out, lift it up to God, and remember where true joy is found. Joy might be momentarily lost, but that loss is entirely mine to recover…I just need to look to the One who fills me up, time and time again.