When I was just a teen, I lived down the street from a retarded boy named Roy. I was friends of the family so it is not surprising that I saw him often at home and outside at play. Back then, he was just another one of the kids in the neighborhood to me, certainly nothing special.

Years later, I remembered that retarded boy. But what I remember was how he was happy all the time. People mocked him and his family, but the harassment rolled off him like water on a duck’s back. If he did get frustrated or bothered, a few minutes later, it was all over and he was back to his happy self again.

I compared my memory of him to how I was feeling at that time – I was miserable and unhappy. I thought to myself, that if I ever had a medical condition or an accident damaged my brain, I wanted to be like that retarded boy – happy-go-lucky!

Well, one day, I actually asked God how to be like him. Over time, God has transformed my life through strengthening my faith. I now rest in the comfort of knowing that whatever it is, God is in control and whatever the problem is, it is His, not mine, to worry about.

It sounds simple, but really, I had to work at some of it. I first started to force myself to smile. I even used my fingers to prop my mouth in the smile position for several minutes to make it easier for me to smile. Strangely enough, that step alone made a huge difference. I started to feel happy! Over time, as I continued leaving more and more things up to God, I grew more and more naturally happy.

A few days ago, I got to thinking about that retarded boy again. Then I remembered that wish I made. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I have what I envied about Roy. I am happy!

This is really, really great. I still have my faults and frustrations but they no longer make their home with me like they used to.

I am comforted in the peace I have in knowing that God really is in control – not the president, politicians, or other world leaders.

I thank God for Roy and my memory of him, and for the Joy God has put in my heart!


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