Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Joy Comes in the Morning!
“Please Lord, may your presence be evident to me today…” I prayed these words as earnestly as I could Sunday morning when I woke up. I’ve prayed this same prayer for people around me as they walk through that valley of the shadows of death which often we have to wander through…however…as the familiar words began to form in my mind, I realized I have never truly prayed them specifically for me.
So I did.
His presence is what sustains us, what comforts us, what keeps us together, what strengthens us…and I am in certain need of all of that right now. So I prayed, half expecting Him to do something wonderful…and half not knowing what to expect…
The night before we had already decided to go to our home church, so we got up early, got ready and left. Upon entering the building, as it always happens, my heart began to feel the warmth of the familiar surroundings. After all, it was within those walls, years ago, that God decided it was time to reveal Himself to me in the most powerful of ways through His Words proclaimed by Pastor Doug and through the embrace of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
And this past Sunday, once again, sitting on those bright-orange-cushioned pews facing the most impressive wooden cross I’ve ever seen…a cross that literally sustains the entire sanctuary… I was overtaken by the power of the Almighty. The message I heard that morning felt tailor-made for me. It was a message of joy…and how joy does not depend on our circumstances, but on our relationship with Christ.
I cannot reproduce the exact words, but what stuck in my mind is the thought that even though I may lose my happiness, I must learn to never lose my joy. No matter what situation I am in, I need to learn to re-direct my eyesight toward Him...to love Him, serve Him and His children and speak my faith…and the peace that comes with trusting His plan will cover me and surpass all my understanding.
I was overwhelmed by His mercy…and we sang about that too, which I thought was just like the proverbial cherry on that mythically wonderful sundae…
Then, if that wasn´t enough, I attended Sunday School, and of course…the entire class revolved around the topic of the negative effects of excessive worry. What resonated in my spirit the most was the affirmation that if we fill our time of anxiety with prayer, there would be no room for worry because we cannot continue to worry at the same time that we pray…it is simply one or the other.
Another thing that made me ponder was the idea that God gives us situations that may seem above our head, but they are never above His head. If all He would give us in this life were easy fixes, we would sense no need for Him. We would feel self-sufficient. Hardship has a purpose. And its main purpose is to draw us closer to Christ, the One who truly can put an end to all suffering as He makes all things new. Human nature is so, that far too often it takes the darkness of the depths of the pit for us to turn our head toward the Light.
I cannot tell you how refreshed I felt as we drove away that Sunday. I was overcome by melancholy…the bittersweet taste I experience each time I have to remember I don´t live across the street from my church anymore…but I was also overcome by joy…the plain sweetness of knowing I´m never truly far away from the One who sustains me, for He lives in me and His presence comes to my rescue regardless of where I may be.
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