How Great our Joy, part three

Part three of my Christmas story. If you haven’t read part one and part two, please do so before reading this section.

How Great our Joy

The Halberg’s spent the next few hours in prayer as other people drifted in and out waiting for their own family members and then leaving to visit their injured.

Three hours after arriving, a doctor came in. “Are you Virginia Halberg’s family?”

Mr. Halberg stood. “Yes, we are.” He looked around the room. No one else was there.

“Won’t you please sit back down?” the doctor asked. “I’m Doctor Rodgers.” When they were all seated, he spoke again, “We did everything we could, but the bullet must have ricocheted. When it entered her body, it went in multiply places, including a piece that lodged an eighth of an inch from her heart. I left that one for last, but by then, she was gone. I’m sorry. The only consolation I can give you is that she died with a smile on her face. I’m not sure why…”

Margaret beamed. “That would be because she saw Jesus.”

Doctor Rodgers jerked his head her direction. “What?”

“She saw Jesus. You know. God’s Son. He came to the earth as a baby around this time of year. Or at least that’s when we celebrate it. Then thirty or so years later, He was killed by some horrid men. Three days after that, He rose from the dead to live forever and ever with God. You can live forever with both of them if you surrender your life to God. Ginny did, and that’s why she was smiling when she died.”

Doctor Rodgers turned slowly away from Margaret. “Anyway, I am terribly sorry, but there really was nothing I could do.”

Mr. Halberg stood up and put an arm on the doctor’s forearm. His eyes brimmed with unshed tears. “We understand. Thank you for trying. Margaret is right. Ginny is in a better place now and we will all see her again.”

Doctor Rodgers shook his head and looked at each of them. “What is so different about you people? I just told you your daughter and sister died. I expected a very different reaction.”

Mrs. Halberg wiped her cheeks and took a shuddering breath. “We have Jesus. We spent the hours waiting praying for God’s peace no matter what the outcome was. And He has answered that prayer. It will be hard to cope with the loss of Ginny. She was such a bright spot in our family, but it will not be impossible. God will help us through it all.”

Doctor Rodgers sank into a chair. “I could use a little peace.”

Mr. Halberg looked up at the ceiling and prayed silently as he stepped closer to the man, God, I don’t know if You can do this or not, but could you tell Ginny that You helped her witness to yet another unsaved person? You are truly a God of miracles. Out loud he said, “Let me tell you about God’s peace.” And he did.

Ginny’s death reached many people for the Lord a few days later. Her death was reported in the newspapers as a Christmas Tragedy. But when the Halbergs were interviewed, they said, “It may have been a tragedy, but Christmas is still a time of miracles and we have seen many of those as well.”

Many of the people at the Bazaar came to the funeral and heard the Gospel presented by Mr. Halberg as a message his daughter would have wanted at her funeral.

“She lived life to the fullest knowing that the days were short,” he said. “She lived every day for the people she could share the Gospel with. Her message was a simple one. She always started with a question. If you were to die today on your way home, where would you go? Then she went on to other questions. How do you know that is where you will go? If the person answered her question with ‘Because of my good works,’ or ‘My good outweighs my bad,’ she would say, ‘Good works can’t save you. Only Jesus can. All you have to do is believe Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead. Then repent or turn away from your sins and let Jesus lead your life. Think about it and read the book of John.’”

He wiped his eyes. “It’s such a simple message and a simple task, yet so few have done it. Are you one of those people? There are many in this room I know would love to talk to you about knowing more about Jesus Christ, including myself, my wife, Margaret, and the pastor. Just remember, the days are short. You do not know the day, nor the hour of your death. It could be sooner than you think.”

After the service, dozens of people went forward and almost all of them professed Christ. The three remaining Halbergs stood off to the side and watched with happy grief at the fruits their Ginny had produced, even in death.

Christmas would always be a bittersweet time for the family, but every year, they went to the Christmas Bazaar for the opening which had been named in honor of Ginny: Ginny’s Christmas Bazaar. And every year, they shared the story of Ginny multiple times, usually leading at least one person to Christ.

How great out joy!
Great out joy!
Joy, joy, joy,
Joy, joy, joy!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!
Praise we the Lord in heav’n on high!

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2 thoughts on “How Great our Joy, part three

  1. Amanda says:

    What? A Christmas story isn’t supposed to make me tear up!!!! Good one, Faith! 🙂 And yes, I’m reeeeealllly late in reading this. 🙂 But you packed a lot in a small amount of words. 🙂

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