It has been a long time since I have written. Partly because I have not known what to write and partly because I have been stubborn about not wanting to write.
These past few weeks have been challenging. Full of change and change again. Feeling every emotion I can define. Fighting not to shut down which is my normal tendency. I have wrestled with choosing joy.
What does joy look like when it hurts?
How about when I am confused or angry or I just plain don’t want to?
I do not have a well thought out answer.
But I do have this peace deep down in my gut. The one where I am reminded of all of things God has told us.
Mark4: 39-40 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The God that controls the waves with his voice (mind-blowing!) tells me not to fear. Even when the storms are seemingly overwhelming.
Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?
God takes care of the birds. How much more will he take care of me!
Romans 8:31-39 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So much meat here. God is FOR me. Who can be against me? I AM a conqueror through Christ.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Weakness is okay. It brings God glory. I can rest.
This is truth that I do not even speak to myself, but when I sit and dwell resonates in my soul. Oftentimes in ways I can’t even explain, but has affected my ability to trust in the Lord’s faithfulness rather than focusing on the negative.
I have not been great with intentionally choosing joy, but there is a steadfastness there that did not used to be. He IS changing me. He IS for me. He DOES love me. He WANTS good for me. All truths that remain true even when I do not “feel” joy.
Joy unspeakable is a truly beautiful thing.