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Brother Wes's Letter
My Joyful Testimony,
I had been very sick for years. Even after many, many Doctors, still I had no relief from my severe pain & loss of my mental abilities. I could not work anymore, though I loved my profession.
The depression started to really eat away at my spiritual life & even at my very enjoyment of living, like I had before I was so ill.
Even though my wife went to work full-time & we were careful with our expenses, my extra hospital & medical bills & prescriptions were slowly eating away at our family budget. The bills were piling up out of control.
As I was cleaning out one of my desk drawers, I saw an old .38 caliber pistol, which used to belong to my Father. A flood of depression swept over me just seeing the pistol. Thinking about how my life was now such a negative drain to my wife & two sons, instead of a positive input of life & support like before my illness, I knew instantly what I wanted to do with that .38 caliber pistol!
I couldn't play with my kids like I used to. I was no longer able to work hard for my family's support, in fact, I was draining my family income into debt. Because of my severe pain & suffering & depression, I wasn't the "fun Daddy" anymore that my young sons loved so much.
In fact, I was not enjoying LIFE itself anymore. I wasn't enjoying Christ in my life as I used to enjoy Him either. As horrible as it may sound, I felt already like I really wasn't much alive anymore, so what did it matter!
After writing a letter to my wife & sons, I drove out to an old country road where me & my boys had always enjoyed walking through the woods, when we wanted to get away from the world's crazy ways. About three miles from my favorite place, my old second hand car stalled out. I cranked it again & again & still no luck. So here I was stranded at 3 am in the morning on a cold February night on an old country road with very few houses nearby.
In more horrible depression, I slammed my fist down hard on the instrument panel of my old car. I hit it so hard that the glove compartment door, usually loose anyway, just opened & out fell my Bible. "I can't even do this right, can I Lord ?" I angrily pleaded with Father.
As I picked up my Bible, I noticed my Bible had opened to one of my most favorite Scriptures that I had long ago underlined in a colored marker pen.
That Scripture was Mark 10:13-14:
I had always known deep in my spirit that even though God's Word did not specifically say so, that Christ enjoyed the children's life & their laughter. He also laughed with them. This part of Christ's life is what I had always prayed for from God & up until recently, I had really enjoyed with my own two boys. I had enjoyed playing with my two boys & being a part of the sheer enjoyment & laughter of their joyful youth. Until my disease had robbed me, that is.
In anger against my disease, I slammed down my Bible on my car seat. I cried out to God, "Just let me come home to you, Daddy." I tried to start my car again. It wouldn't start. I cried for quite a while. I was ready to walk the rest of the way to that favorite place of mine, when I noticed my Bible, that I had slammed down on my car seat. I wanted to read something from my Father, before I walked off with my old .38 pistol. I noticed another underlined Scripture on the opened page of my Bible. It was...
The last portion, "for the joy of the LORD is your strength" hit me real hard, like a punch between the eyes. Somehow, I sensed Christ laughing. No, not laughing at me or my situation, but Christ desired to laugh with me, no matter what my horrible situations were.
Like a good Daddy, in fact, a perfect Daddy, kissing the "booboo" of His child's bruised knee, Christ wanted to heal me. Yes, heal me from inside my spirit even to the outside of my physical life as well.
As much as I did not understand my stalled out car or my Bible opening up to my favorite Scriptures, I did not understand my inner sense of my Christ desiring to laugh with me, even in such desparate times.
I remember screaming out to Christ, "Help me Lord !" After a while, my tears stopped. I unloaded the .38 pistol & threw the bullets as far as I could into the cold, dark woods.
I started to walk away from my stalled out old car, when I sensed, "Try it just one more time." When I turned the key, my old car started up & purred like a kitten. Automatically, my softened heart spoke out to my Christ, "Thank you."
On the way home, I hoped to tear up the letter that I had written to my wife, before she woke up. Even though I was quiet when I went past my son's bedroom, I heard a quiet voice say, "Daddy, is that you?" I couldn't help but go in to see my 5 year old boy. He lay there so calm, so sweet, so precious to my eyes, it was like seeing him in a fresh, new way. Next he said , "Tickle me, Daddy."
This was one our favorite things in life. My little 5-year-old was so ticklish that even when I held my finger 12 inches away from his body, he would explode in sweet laughter. So I sat down on my son's bed & just pointed my "tickle finger" at my precious son. He again exploded in delightful laughter. His joy, his life re-ignited something that had been truly killed within me with all my pain & suffering over many years.
I laughed with my son. I remembered Christ laughing within my spirit as I was on the country road. Christ was laughing with me & my son also. Then my son asked, "Will you tickle me every night, like you used to?"
Somehow I knew that Christ was speaking through this innocent, precious child. Like the miracle of the stalled out car, the Scriptures opening in my Bible & Christ laughing inside my spirit, I knew Christ wanted to laugh with me, in spite of whatever negative trials & tribulations occurred in my life.In fact, "the joy of the LORD" would now have to be my only strength.
I wish I could say that I instantly got physically well. No, but like never before in my life, my inner self has become so healthy & full of life & full of Christ's joy & laugher. Now, I laugh a lot with my boys & I laugh along with my heavenly Father, as well.
"Allow the little children to come to Me . . . for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
God Bless You All!
Brother Wes Murray