Finding Joy in the Trials of a Broken Body or Even Broken ‘Stuff’

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2)

“A pipe burst under the sink. That’s the cause of the flooding,” the plumber stated. “I’ll be done in a couple of hours.”

I looked at him, shocked by what I heard. There goes dinner, I thought.

“It’s going to take me a couple of weeks to repair the water damage to the walls, tile, and carpet,” the carpenter said.

We wouldn’t have our usual holiday meal. I fought back tears.

When the renovations started, I discovered that I couldn’t tolerate the construction dust, so I barricaded myself in the bedroom. Stress and frustration overwhelmed me to the point that I had to go on bed rest.

Because of my nerve issues, I had trouble getting comfortable. Either my back ached, or I experienced shooting pains in my hips, or my knees became stiff.

Even though it was almost impossible for me to move, I continually told everyone, that “I’m good.” They knew better. I fooled no one. Finally, I owned up to my body’s limits.

No one ridiculed me. Actually, my family rallied around me and helped make this period a time of restoration – for the house, for my body, and for my soul. We renewed our bond over board games, movies, and take-out dinners. There was a lot of conversation mixed with plenty of laughter, and I was reminded how precious spending time with my family really is.

Looking back, I realize that I learned and grew, even in the midst of the trial. The intense level of pain removed all pretenses that I tried to uphold; my immobility exposed my desire to be self-sufficient; and when my joints stopped cooperating, all that remained was my hope and trust in God.

This trial proved to me that it is possible to find joy, even when I am swamped with problems.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us take James 1 to heart. As trials come into our lives, strengthen us and make us aware of Your love and grace.

About the Author:
Dorothea lives in California. After dealing with chronic illness for over twenty years, she knows that she needs God’s grace each day. Please visit or email her at

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