Lighthouses are special to our family. Our youngest son proposed to his wife at a lighthouse. We live aboard a boat, so lighthouses are a beacon of hope to us in fog or squalling sea. God’s Word is that same kind of lighthouse, a beacon of hope to guide us into safe harbor in the storms of life.
One of our stormiest seasons began while my husband, Bill, and I were on a media tour. Bill wasn’t feeling well, so we went to the ER where a doctor told him he had high blood pressure. That caught Bill’s attention. His dad had a stroke in his 40s that left him paralyzed, and Bill’s grandfather died of a stroke in his early 40s. Soon it became apparent that God was asking Bill to resign from the lead pastor role he had served in for 15 years—a difficult decision emotionally and financially. In this same season, our youngest son, Caleb, was rushed to the hospital with a football injury requiring a blood transfusion to save his life.
Eight days after Caleb’s injury, I had to leave him at home because of a planned speaking engagement. During my time away, my other two sons also experienced athletic injuries, and my younger brother was hospitalized after a heart attack. My stress was welling up like a tidal wave.
When friends asked, “How are you?” I didn’t know how to answer. Then I read Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” JOY! That’s what I needed. I immediately went on a joy hunt. I read Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and kept following the well-lit path of joy verses. I printed them, studied them, and hung them around my home. Joy became my lighthouse of hope, an anchor in a storm that lasted three years.
Since the day I found hope in the Psalms, I answer “How are you?” with “Choosing joy!” I encourage you to do the same and see how God multiplies the light as you share your hope and praise Him.
Pam Farrel is an international speaker and author of 45 books, including her newest Bible study co-authored with Jean E. Jones and Karla Dornacher: Discovering Hope in the Psalms. Pam and her husband Bill direct Love-Wise, a ministry to enrich, educate and encourage people’s most vital relationships.