I haven’t felt much like writing this month, but especially this week. I have let my battered inner joy slide down and roll under the sofa, where it is hiding. I don’t have the energy to crawl under there and get it. Don’t get me wrong. I am not depressed, but wow, these last few weeks have been rough. On the other hand, the verse from Nehemiah that reminds us that the joy of the Lord is my/our strength has been on my mind. Even the song we learned in church with the same line has been bouncing around in my head.
Most of the time I can write no matter my mood, but I am both ill and stressed. It has been an effort to smile at all after a week of viral illness on top of fibromyalgia. As for writing, I haven’t had much to say. Even as I type that, I know joy isn’t something that happens to us. It is an active thing, something we work at and participate in as Christians. I need to pick it back up.
Joy is strength.
Even when I don’t want to, choosing joy will restore my strength.
Loss of joy makes us weaker, more vulnerable.
If we lose our joy then, we become vulnerable to attack. So, I pray for God’s intervention to help me through some of the things going on right now: illness in several family members, hospitalization of a family member, my own pain and illness, and stress over my little dog who has suddenly gone blind among other things.
Joy gives us fortitude and perseverance, helps us see the way through trouble. It is an antidote to pain, eases suffering.
In addition to all of the illness, we had a snow and ice storm last week, and lost many trees and our electrical power. Though I was so sick, and all this was going on, last week was still a good week. My joy held out. We were prepared for the storms and able to relax some while we watched it come down. Even when our power went out, we enjoyed the preparations for the cold night. I have been doing okay until this week when my illness and incredible fatigue finally got to me, so I pray this morning for restoration of joy.
Don’t we all need an infusion of the strength that it brings?
I realize God heard and answered my prayer, because it’s as if the phrase the joy of the Lord is our strength is a joy giver itself. I smile when I say it.
“Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The joy of the Lord is our strength.
I pray that I let go of any impediment to joy and allow God to restore me. I also pray God restores you and gives you strength. May he fill your home with joy and gladness.