Skip to main content

Joy and Strength

I have been reflecting on the joy of the LORD.
The Bible says that the joy of the LORD is my strength (Neh 8:10). Jesus said that He wants His joy to be in me and for my joy to be complete (John 15:11). I understand these verses to mean that God cares about my joy, that it is found through relationship with Him and that it is meant to strengthen me.
I have a friend, Carly, who is an intercessory missionary in Istanbul, Turkey. She recently fell while getting off a trolley and broke her pelvis in 3 places. Carly has been in intense pain, has had almost no pain killers and little medical care. But, I’m still getting emails from her proclaiming that Jesus is worthy of all praise and that she is worshiping Him from her bed in Turkey.
I read a letter from another missionary this morning. Her husband died very suddenly last September after a slight fall caused a massive hemorrhage in his brain. She is still grieving, but there was definite joy streaming through her letter as she talked about spending five weeks working in Tel Aviv this summer and her ministry with Jewish students in NYC.
I think of the children that I sponsor in Sudan, Burkina Faso and Uganda and how their faces beam at me from the pictures they send with joyous letters. Their joy seems to lift them up above the difficulty of living in such poverty.
I wonder about Christians living in Egypt and Syria and if joy in God is providing them with courage and strength right now.
I have been thinking about this in the context of my own life too. I am not experiencing physical pain, the grief of loss, poverty or persecution. But, I am experiencing emotional fatigue and stress from wedding planning and moving my office. I am tempted to focus on the negatives in my life and my discomfort rather than the joy that is mine in Christ Jesus and the many generous gifts that He has blessed me with.
I think that God really does mean for His joy to be our strength. Whether our problems are small and related to managing our many blessings well or we are actually suffering physically or emotionally, God wants us to find joy in Him whatever our circumstances. He wants to so fill us with His joy that we are lifted up above our feelings and experiences and we find peace and comfort in our relationship with Him.
So, I am practicing gratitude. I recognize that joy comes more easily when I count the ways that God loves on me today and I want my joy to be full and strong in Him.
Still Counting Gifts:
·         #856: Christine and Michelle make the most beautiful decorations
·         #857: Fresh flowers
·         #858: Enjoying friends at my bridal shower
·         #859: Karyn hosted it at her fabulous new house
·         #860: Having my almost sister-in-law visit for the weekend
·         #861: Almost all of the insurance companies have processed my address change
·         #862: 32 days until I become Mrs. Striker
·         #863: I get to proclaim the power of God’s love and how joy really is possible no matter what

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What do I fix my eyes on?

Do you ever notice themes popping up in your daily life and wonder if God is saying something?

You read something that stands out to you and then you hear a song reinforcing the same message. You find this topic coming up in conversations throughout the day. Maybe you even see it appearing in your newsfeed on social media. Your heart moves a little bit every time you see or hear this theme.








This has been happening to me this week. The theme is actually a question: What are your eyes fixed on?

I'm preparing to lead See You At The Pole at my school tomorrow and the theme is Fix Your Eyes. It comes from Hebrews 12:2 which encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus and follow his example in how we handle difficulties and suffering.

Then, I read this amazing blog post this morning by Sharon Hodde Miller about how being a people-pleaser and addicted to approval ultimately causes you to become completely self-focused. (Check out When the Self-Help Gospel Isn't Helping You Anymore on www…

Heart Revival

Hey you guys,

It's been almost two years since my last post. What?!

I know some of you probably forgot that I even used to do this, but I hope that you're as excited as I am that I'm coming back to blogging. It's a new season and God has been stirring up lots of creativity and courage in me recently. I'm happy to tell you all about it.

In case you missed it, I became a mom to sweet Elias last summer. In fact, he is about to turn 1 year old on Monday and I can't believe it! Guys, he is absolutely the sweetest, calmest and most delightful baby you can ever imagine and I still tear up sometimes in gratitude when I remember that he is my little boy.

One of my life dreams to be a stay-at-home mama has been partially fulfilled in that I only work three days a week during the school year. I work 2 1/2 days at RCS Elementary School and it is an amazing place. Shortly after I got there, they put me in charge of the two chapel services that happen each week. Guess what? …

Transition, transition, transition

Wow, it's already the middle of September! This past month has flown by for me.









I just finished my fifth week of the new school year.

I am loving The Quiet Collection by Emily P Freeman to help me have a sane September. (This blog post appearing is a partial fruit from one of those devotions which encouraged me to stop overthinking things and create.)

I'm remembering how vital my crock pot is if we want to have a hot dinner on a work day.

I have completed 8 of my 21 days of working out goal for this month!

I have done some hard stops for prayer, gazing on beauty, snuggling one of my loves and remembering how to breathe deeply.

One of the discoveries in this season of transition is that I have believed that busy=bad. My sweet, slow-paced summer schedule has been swapped out for one that is much more highly charged with many responsibilities and activities that are looking for a place within my week. I have found myself feeling shame over how full my schedule is and afraid that …